Month: March 2020

Don’t Waste Corona: A Top 10 (Actually 11) List of Good Things to Do 

Pastor Brian’s latest mini message video has 11 tips to keep you engaged while you’re staying safe at home. Watch his message here, and read below for his list of tips.

Don't Waste Corona

There are two verses in the Bible, one from the Old Testament and the other from the New Testament, that speak to this:

Teach us to number our days that we gain a heart of wisdom.
–Psalm 90:12

Be very careful how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
–Ephesians 5:15

Here are the top 10 things Pastor Brian recommends for your time being safe at home.

1|| Read the New Testament.

There are 260 chapters in the New Testament. If you read 10 chapters a day you will read the Bible in the month of April. If you read five chapters a day, you will be done at the end of May… prayerfully, about the time the worst of COVID-19 is past.

2|| Keep a journal.

In one form or another, I have been journaling for 20 years. Every day, take 5 minutes, or 15 minutes, and write down your answers to these questions:

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A Mighty (Blanket) Fortress || Guest post by Pastor Garrett Lowe

All updates on Living Word’s new online connections, Spiritual & Emotional Resources, outreach opportunities, and more in light of COVID-19 will be posted at Please continue to check that page for updates.

Are your children spending too much time in front of screens?

We are certainly living in a unique season of history right now. I cannot remember a time when schools and businesses were forced to shut down for this long.

Many parents and young people are being confronted with empty schedules with no place to go. One of the easiest responses to boredom is to search for entertainment. And while entertainment is not bad, there are other forms of content worth pursuing to help pass the time.

I want to recommend finding content that inspires and educates. And the Parent Vault contains both!

There is so much uncertainty, unknowns, and a lot of uncharted territory in our world today. But God is in control and is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

In the Parent Vault, I have put together a fun and creative resource for you to encourage your child with these precious spiritual truths.

*Hint: It involves some furniture and …

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Online Service Times + Next Gen Resources

Sunday Services are Online Only

Our online community meets at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, 11:00 am, & 6:00 pm new


Even though we are not able to meet together in person, we want to continue providing resources for your family during this time! Our Next Gen team has put together this page of resources to help you worship together as a family on Sunday morning, using the same lessons that your children would have if they were with us in person.

Find the list of links here ⇒

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Best Practices for Staying Connected

In Sunday’s message, Pastor Brian Rice will share some practices for staying connected during this strange time of social distancing.

We asked some of our staff to share their best practices for staying connected.

Right now I am using text, email, and old-fashioned phone calls to connect to people. I am hoping next week to capture some video content and share it on social media as a means of encouragement to our ministry partners. In this season it seems a good practice is to connect with people regularly for a shorter amount of time.

—Chris Smith, Worship Arts Pastor

I am making a lot more phone calls to talk to people directly, We are still reaching out to serve others at the Food Bank and through Compassion York and Our Daily Bread. I am also starting to use more virtual meetings to stay connected with people I work with and in class situations.

—John Hilliard, Missions Pastor
Learn more about serving our community ⇒

I’ve been using technology to stay connected. I have a couple of group texts going, one with a group of mom friends who can commiserate about attempting to work while home with our kids, one with

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A Terrific Prayer for Uncertain, Anxious Times Like These || Guest Post by Pastor Aaron Kunce

All updates on Living Word postponements and cancellations in light of COVID-19 will be posted at Please continue to check that page for updates.

A Prayer that Anyone Can Pray

There are a handful of poems and some prayers I have committed to memory. And there’s a couple I carry with me every day. One of the prayers I’ve kept in a little notebook I carry every day was written by Thomas Merton back in 1958.

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust

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10 Ways to Pray in Response to COVID-19

All updates on Living Word postponements and cancellations in light of COVID-19 will be posted at Please continue to check that page for updates.

As we face this unprecedented time in our lives and our world, we would like to invite you to pray.

Psalm 62:8 states that we are to “pour out our hearts to God, for He is our refuge.” Let’s keep leaning into Him.

  1. Pray that the drastic measures being taken will slow the spread of the virus.
  2. Pray for those most susceptible to contracting COVID-19: older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease).
  3. Pray for our neighbors: that we as Christians will be witnesses to them regarding how to sense God’s presence with us at all times in all ways (Jesus, Immanuel, God with us).
  4. Pray for families impacted by travel (outbound or inbound).
  5. Pray for our communities, workplaces, and schools.
  6. Pray for homes impacted by the loss of work, many in the service sectors (like restaurants, salons, etc.) and especially for single parents who already have a heavy load to lift and now carry more.
  7. Pray for our health-care system and medical professionals. (Please remember

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Special Message from Pastor Brian

Hey Everyone:

How would you have responded on February 1 if someone would have told you that very soon international flights to Europe were canceled, universities were sending students home, York County schools would be closed, the NBA season postponed, the NCAA March madness cancelled, the entertainment industry on hold, and baseball spring training cancelled? (Well, maybe the last one would not have surprised you.)

How would you have responded if they also said that large churches everywhere are canceling on-site church services, and going to online services entirely?

Yes, me too. I would have laughed.

So here we are today. Six weeks later! And that has all happened.

We’ve just posted a “pastoral video” where I share my thoughts as a pastor about CoVid-19 and how the church will respond to this disruptive experience.

Go to COVID-19: LATEST UPDATES & Click Friday, March 13 • Part II →

I love you guys very much. We have a unique season through which we are now walking. We are in this together. God’s grace is with us. His Holy Spirit is filling us. And we all know, that God brings good out of all things.

Pastor Brian

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COVID-19: Latest Updates and Responses at Living Word

In consideration of the very real public health concerns related to COVID-19, we will not be hosting services on site at Living Word for several Sundays. Instead, the Sunday morning service shifts to Living Word Online.

It is particularly important for you to join us online this Sunday. In addition to our regular programming as we finish our series on Character with the theme of Ruthless Trust (and how appropriate to finish our series with this theme), we will also update you with our plans for how we will continue to minister to you and your family during this season. 

Join us online here this Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00 am.

First, we aren’t closing our doors out of fear. We are simply adjusting how we will do faithful ministry in a time when large gatherings can be part of spreading the virus.

Second, this is how we love our community. Love takes responsibility to do what is right, even if what is right in inconvenient and disruptive. 

Third, through the history of the church, during times of disease, the church and individual Christians were at the forefront of being a caring presence for those who suffer and who are

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The Laws of God for Human Flourishing (Part 3 of 3)

So, how do you feel about the law of gravity? Do you like that law? Do you enjoy that law?

Newton’s formula for the law of gravity is to the right. No, I don’t understand what it means. I just know the apple fell off the tree and hit Newton on the head, and the formula was the result.

Strange questions aren’t they?

Why would anyone care about how you feel about that law? The law just is. This law is reality. It is how the world works, how the universe works. Your feelings about the law of gravity are irrelevant.

Careful obedience to this law of gravity is quite another matter. It is of crucial importance that you obey this law. You don’t step off the top of a 20-story building into the air without paying the consequences of violating the law of gravity. To violate is to fail to comply with a rule. It doesn’t matter how much you protest your frustration about the gravity law as you are falling toward the ground!

  • You don’t jump out of airplanes unless you have a parachute. That’s the law of gravity.
  • You don’t go on roller coasters unless you believe

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Christians, Law, and GRACE (Part 2 of 3)

Yesterday’s blog post was about law in general and the audience was anyone. Today’s blog post is about moral and spiritual laws and is written specifically for Christians, although I hope anyone who is not a Christian will listen in to this conversation.

I want everyone connected with Living Word to understand the depths of wisdom we have in the Bible about the Christian life.

I want everyone to flourish, and I believe the teaching of the Bible that is fulfilled in, displayed by, and experienced in Jesus is the way to flourish. Jesus says he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

So, we need to talk about this thing called “law” or “commandments” or “instruction.”

My prayer comes from Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight.” And may they be useful for your edification as well.

I find many Christians struggle with the laws of God. By struggle, I don’t mean struggle to keep them. If that is what I meant, I would say ALL Christians struggle with God’s laws about adultery-lust, murder-anger, forgiveness of enemies, generosity, denial of self, taking up the …

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