UPDATE - 12/1/20
We're back to an in-person gathering this coming Sunday, December 6th!
We do ask that everyone be mindful of physical distancing (as this is the most effective way to prevent spreading illness) and consider wearing as mask if that is the right decision for you and your family. As we've been saying all along, gathering together is so very important, but we also want to do so in faith and wisdom.
UPDATE - 11/24/20
Because we have been made aware of multiple congregation members who have either tested positive with COVID-19 or exhibited related symptoms in recent weeks, we will be pulling back this coming weekend and doing an online-only service on Sunday, November 29th.
The plan is for this to be a one week only thing and we'll be excited to be all together again the following Sunday.
UPDATE - 11/14/20
Hello, Church Family!
We have read the governor's latest proclamation concerning the reinstating of some heightened mitigation efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. We're blessed that our Governor considers church services essential and is not placing gathering limitations or mask mandates on us, so we will be having an in-person service this Sunday.
That said, our Governor as well as Spencer Hospital have informed us that case counts are on the rise and our medical community is being taxed, so we do want to remind and encourage everyone to maintain physical distance as much as possible (believe me, I know that this part is not easy to do). And while church gatherings are not mandated to wear masks, do consider wearing a mask if you feel it is the right decision for you. We are not mandating masks -- we are leaving that up to each person or family. If you need one, there is a box of masks in the foyer as well as hand sanitizer in several places throughout the building.
Gathering as the Body of Christ is essential and we're not backing down on that. At the same time, we can do what we can do to keep the COVID numbers down. Faith and wisdom.
We also ask that if you or your kids are not feeling well, please watch our service online (on Facebook, YouTube, or our website) in your pj’s and give us your best comments! If you are not feeling well, please send us a prayer request so we can get our church family praying for you!
We are like you -- very eager to see this virus BE REMOVED from our city, county, state, nation, and world! One of the best things we can do is to use both faith and wisdom as we navigate the weeks ahead. We look forward to seeing you Sunday at 9:30 am -- in person or online!
Jesus is Lord and COVID-19 is under His feet (and our feet, too)!
Love from Pastor Barb
UPDATE - 5/27/20
We are seeing the beginning phases of the loosening of restrictions in the state of Iowa, and because of that, we'll be shifting how we're doing things for Sunday morning church over the next season of time.
RESUMING IN-PERSON SERVICES
On May 1st, Governor Reynolds removed restrictions on group sizes for spiritual gatherings. This gave us the option to assemble together corporately if we deemed it safe in our context. After much prayer and seeking the Lord as well as many internal conversations among our leadership, we decided to open our doors for Sunday worship services inside our building as of May 17th!
Rest assured, we're taking an abundance of caution as we move forward with this decision. We realize some are ready for this option and others are not. But it's just that... an option. This is NOT a mandate for anyone.
For those who feel uncomfortable gathering together at this time, we completely understand! You'll find no condemnation here and we will not view you as having less faith than others if you choose to stay home. We encourage you to gather with us digitally by tuning in to our live stream!
For those who do feel comfortable attending in person, join us at 8:30a for corporate prayer and 9:30a for service in the auditorium!
For specific details on what to expect as we phase back into in-person services, tap the link below.
FAITH ABOVE FEAR
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9
The global crisis we find ourselves in holds the very real temptation for us to fall into a place of fear. With the media blaring all the bad news, the government announcing new protocols and guidelines every six hours, grocery store shelves going bare, and social media simultaneously making fun of the situation and proclaiming the end of the world, it's a lot to keep track of, let alone process.
Even in the midst of all of the trepidation that's bombarding us, we have a sure foundation in the Word of God that encourages us time and time again that God is with us, He's got our backs, and to not be fearful!
"PEACE I [JESUS] LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU. NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES DO I GIVE TO YOU. LET NOT YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED, NEITHER LET THEM BE AFRAID." — JOHN 14:27
"EVEN THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME." — PSALMS 23:4
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" — Psalms 27:1
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." — 1 Peter 5:6-7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." — 2 Timothy 1:7
At Living Word, our plan is to not partner with fear, but rather to partner with faith and wisdom — faith in a God who hears our prayers and responds, faith in the goodness of our Heavenly Father to keep us in all our ways (including our health), wisdom to not put ourselves into harm's way, and wisdom to not test God. It's both/and, not either/or.
To do our part in helping to flatten the curve, we'll be taking abundant caution as we phase back in to in-person gatherings. As much as is possible for us, we will be operating under CDC and White House guidelines. We feel strongly that out of honor for our governing officials (Romans 13) and love for our neighbors (Mark 12:31) that we comply with recommendations to the best of our ability.
What does this mean?
This simply means the way we do church will look a little different for the time being. We'll have to be flexible as we use our faith AND wisdom to navigate this pandemic together.
This does NOT mean that we're taking a break from church! We will continue, to the best of our ability, to be a light in the darkness and a city on a hill, spreading the hope and gospel of Jesus Christ to our circles of influence! We will continue, to the best of our ability, to pastor and shepherd you and to equip you to do the works of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13)!
Remember, the Church is not a building. It's a people. God's people. We ARE the Church. YOU are the Church. Social distancing won't stop us from being the Church!
KEEP IN TOUCH
As we make changes to the way we do church, we'll be updating this page on our website, posting things on our Facebook page, as well as sending updates out via email. To sign up to receive our emails, tap the button below.