February 3rd, The Rev. Louis Vetri

Rev. Louis Vetri ( Age 53) was born and raised in south Philadelphia, PA in a Roman Catholic, Sicilian
family and neighborhood. He attended catholic schools up through higher education at Alvernia College,
where he received his Bachelors in Psychology degree in 1988. His early work in the helping professions
in alternative education and drug and alcohol rehabilitation developed a broader appreciation and
compassion to help whole family systems. Subsequently, he attended Hahnemann Hospital University
Marriage and family Therapy Program in Philadelphia and graduated with an MFT in 1996. Working with
families increased his awareness in issues of class, race, gender, religious and educational inequalities and
disparities in the larger cultural and institutional systems. He felt called to leave the therapy field and
work with social justice education , advocacy and activism initiatives including community organizing.
This led to appreciation for more open and civil discourse, interfaith and ecumenical efforts, peace
literacy and community coalition building to reduce prejudice and conflict and prevent violence
Much of this work in and in government funded agencies and grassroots organizations were often
dismissive and suspicious of faith driven efforts. Lou began developing partnerships between community
efforts and churches to forge better neighbor driven efforts of solutions. During this time and process, he
was encouraged and supported to consider his gifts in / for ministry. His lifelong efforts and interests to
be a servant for God and good in the world were able to be integrated within his faith journey , which
over the years has spanned Roman Catholic, Quaker, assembly of God, Lutheran .
He concluded he could not do further discernment without attending seminary and committed his heart to
study and formation at Lancaster Theological seminary in Lancaster, Pa. From where he graduated in
2014. During that time, Rev. Vetri found a home in the UCC with its polity, practices and deep
convictions and commitments to justice, covenant, a unifying and reconciling Christ, a God who is still
speaking who holds radical welcome for all and a true belief in the work of the Spirit leading local
churches to do relevant missions at home and abroad. With education and deep ecumenical partnerships
forming, the UCC has held the core matching values he holds, that in essential things there be unity, and
in non-essential things, flexibility, diversity and creativity while holding that all things be done in charity.
Lou met his wife while working at a hospital as an Associate Chaplain following his CPE training.
Through mutual friends they developed a tight and loving bond and married in 2015, having just recently
celebrated their 3rd year anniversary. Lou’s older sister and 91 yr old father still live in Philadelphia. His
mother passed in 2010. Linda’s children from a former marriage are all adults and live in Utah, Texas and
Washington State. Lou and Linda moved from Mt. Joy, PA and now live in Middletown, Ohio where they
purchased a home off Manchester Blvd and are slowly enjoying learning about the area and meeting
others. She began working at Trinity Community at Beaver Creek ( United Church Homes) back in April
2018. Lou was finishing up his work as Pastor of Trinity UCC in Rehrersburg, PA ( Berks Co.) where he
served the last 4 years.

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)