Grace Lutheran Church in Scarsdale, New York is living up to its name. Traversing distance, Grace is building a lasting, powerful relationship with the New LIFE School in the Bronx. The church is a shining example of Lutheran Social Services of New York’s Congregation LIFE at its best.
Laura Puerta started at The New LIFE School in 2006, welcoming thirty students through the doors. Six years later, they are offering quality education to 200 students with special needs. As a social worker, Laura became acutely aware that many of the students at the school are dealing with serious trauma and are deprived of normal things in life. Grace Lutheran Church has partnered with The New LIFE School to change that. For the past three years, families at Grace have sponsored families at the school to make sure the students receive presents at Christmas. The grace does not stop there. The church also donates gifts to the school’s Santa Store so that the students can go shopping for gifts for their siblings and parents. Because of Grace’s generosity, these kids in the Bronx are learning the power of giving, too.
The partnership between Grace and The New LIFE School continues beyond Christmas. The church has also donated backpacks, school supplies and cooking supplies to help the students reach their full learning potential. The school uses the cooking supplies for culinary classes. Recently, the students invited congregants from Grace to come to the school. The students used the cooking supplies to make breakfast, and they all sat down together to enjoy the meal.
This growing relationship between Grace Lutheran and The New LIFE School exemplifies the nature of grace. Generosity multiplies, love is mutual. When grace happens and unexpected relationships flourish, everyone benefits. Through Congregation LIFE, congregants in Scarsdale and students in the Bronx are learning the reflexive, abundant and exponential nature of grace.