Our world has seemingly flipped upside down in recent weeks as we adjust to strict new guidelines that govern our daily lives in the wake of COVID-19. The outbreak and how we must tackle its spread has left many of us questioning what we can do, who we can see and how we can see them, and if this will ever come to an end.
Perhaps one of the most difficult things we are facing as Christians is our inability to celebrate together the most holy season of Easter. Our churches have been all but shuttered during a time when we need and are crying out to God most.
Living Word Lutheran Church has one simple message for everyone reading this post: Just Keep Praying.
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God “knows the plans he has for [us], plans to prosper [us] and not to harm [us], plans to give [us] hope and a future.”
The truth is, we won’t be able to see each other in a physical sense during Holy Week. But God Himself is not a physical being, and our faith must not be bound to the physical worship services we are used to. We can still be together in a spiritual sense, and to make that easier, you’ll be able to watch and listen to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday services on Facebook and our new YouTube channel.
We are blessed to live in a time where technology affords us the opportunity to still keep in contact during the days of social distancing. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give in to anxiety or depressing thoughts. Don’t let the devil try to convince you that God is not listening or that he has left us behind. As the old saying goes, this too shall pass.
Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV) reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
If we keep our faith, God will see us through this crisis. When the national emergency declarations have been rescinded and social distancing orders lifted, may we all have a renewed spirit and enthusiasm to rejoin our brothers and sisters in Christ at Living Word and beyond. May we have a new appreciation for what it means to worship together in the house of the Lord.
Many thanks to Pastor Mark Dill for recording mid-week and Sunday Lenten services and sending them to our congregation. Authored by Caitlin Squires, member of LWLC.
Each year, Living Word Lutheran Church offers Ash Wednesday worship services at 7:00 p.m., preceded by a covered dish dinner at 6:00 p.m. We're continuing with that tradition this year, but adding a new worship time to the schedule!
On Ash Wednesday (February 26, 2020), you now can join us at noon for an abbreviated worship service with imposition of ashes. Stop by on your lunch break or avoid the night-time drive. Or, feel free to come to the full-length worship service at 7:00 p.m. Whatever time you join us for worship that day, we'll be happy to receive you.
Check out our Schedule & Events tab for a full listing of upcoming Holy Week worship services. All services will be held at Living Word Lutheran Church on Hill Top Drive.
The current location of Living Word Lutheran Church came to the congregation as a blessing in 2014. Before moving into the building formerly owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Hill Top Drive in Cumberland, LWLC met regularly at the Woodmen of the World social hall on Virginia Avenue. With the new building came a large sanctuary, a nursery, offices, Sunday school classrooms, and a social hall. Church members have dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours to the upkeep and maintenance of the building and contributed to funds that allowed for necessary capital improvements, such as the installation of a modesty rail at the front of the sanctuary, new gravel for the satellite parking lot, and a new sign and garden wall at the entrance.
The congregation of LWLC recently pooled nearly $5,000 to replace the aging roof that was in need of repair. Cumberland-based Grant Family Home Improvements was contracted to install the new metal roof that will last the church for decades to come.
In the near future, LWLC plans to rework the church entrance and install a handicap access ramp, increasing accessibility for our mobility-challenged congregants and visitors. A sound system upgrade is on the docket, too.
Matthew 18:20 tells us that where two or three are gathered in His holy name, there He is among us. Making necessary capital improvements comes at a price - but increasing the longevity and inviting nature of the church where we gather for worship is important.
It's the most wonderful time of the year - the season that celebrates Christ's birth. The congregation at Living Word Lutheran Church gathered for the annual candlelight service at 7:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, with 90 members and visitors in attendance. To all of the visitors who decided to worship with us on Christmas Eve, welcome to LWLC. We hope to see you again soon - please stop by for a regular Sunday service at 10:00 a.m.
In preparation for one of the holiest days of the year, our youngest congregants put together an adorable Christmas play on December 15. Many thanks are due to our church's musician, the Sunday school leaders, and the volunteers who contributed to the production.
The members of Living Word Lutheran Church also prepared their hearts for Christmas by making spirits bright. In keeping with near annual tradition, more than 25 gift bags for children of all ages were put together and donated to the Salvation Army. The Hat & Mitten Tree collected countless gloves, hats, scarves, and other cold-weather accessories for students in need at John Humbird Elementary School. LWLC is committed to serving its brothers and sisters in Christ in the Cumberland community.
As August transitions to September, students will prepare to head back to school. After a season away, they'll once again return to the classrooms to receive their education. So too would we like for our community to head back to church - to receive the Gospel and all the wisdom it imparts.
On Sunday, September 8, join us for worship at 10:00 a.m. during Living Word Lutheran Church's inaugural Back to Church Sunday celebration! Bring a friend, a neighbor, your family, or come solo - we welcome you with open arms.
Whether you're just visiting or are looking for a church to join in membership, you'll enjoy a delightful service and refreshments after worship.
We are located at 800 Hill Top Drive in Cumberland. Parking is available in the paved lot beside the church or in the gravel lot across the street (at the intersection of Hill Top Drive and Caroline Street). Ushers will be available for assistance at the handicap entrance (front door).