NEWS & UPDATES

UPDATED JANUARY 13, 2021

We are reopening Sunday, January 17 for one church service at 9:30 am.

Masks are required.

You do NOT need to register.

We will follow appropriate social distancing onsite.

Depending on attendance, we will add services as we continue through January. Starting February 7, we will have our kid::life and student::life programs operating onsite.

Mid-size communities and small groups: Your leaders will be in touch with you about being onsite.

You might be wondering how we are making decisions regarding onsite services. Our highest priorities have been the health and spiritual needs of our congregation.

A second consideration has been the availability of ministry partners. (This especially affects our NextGen teams).

What has NOT been an issue since June is Pennsylvania State mandates. In Pennsylvania churches are allowed to make their own decisions regarding onsite or online services.

Concerns regarding physical health, spiritual life, and quality ministry guide our thinking.

We aren’t experts in responding to pandemic realities; therefore, we seek counsel and input from other sources.

The medical community is at the top of the list of where we seek input. They have the access to research and up-to-date data about what is happening in a local community. We also know that, in general, the medical community will always lean toward maximum health safety and not give as much weight to other factors. Even so, we listen very carefully to the medical community and the various interpretations of the COVID data.

Next, we look to our peers in terms of large churches in the tri-city area. We want to know how large churches and their leadership teams are working their way through this in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Hershey, and York. (None of these churches would claim expertise either, and everyone says they are making their way the best way they know how.) The majority are open or opening and are following mask required and good social distancing guidelines. The consensus is they talk to medical professionals in their churches for input and then, having done so, they are still open or reopening. So, that is the collective wisdom (or collective “guessing”), but it is collective.

Then, we look to other organizations as well. We felt that the Pennsylvania Governor’s office making the decision to go back to pre-holiday guidelines was significant. They have access to all the experts and they relaxed the stricter guidelines on January 4.

Our local government offices are reopening. York County closed proactively prior to Christmas, in light of the COVID surge. They reopened on Monday, January 11.

We also pay attention to the world of business and commerce. The large majority choose to navigate wisely the challenges of being reopened but avoid the shipwreck of being closed.

College and professional sports are also following protocols, but staying open for business and working around COVID cases. Earlier in the year, the approach was to cancel and completely close or create a bubble. Now, the approach is to stay open, adjust, adapt, and continue. COVID will happen, but teams are attempting to deal with it and adapt.

Our culture has a growing consensus that risk is one thing, shipwreck is quite another. We can’t stop doing normal life, so let’s open and stay open, follow good protocols for health, and take it one day and one week at a time.

That is what we are doing starting this Sunday, January 17.

9:30 service only. No registration. Masks required.

There will be no NextGen ministry, but kids and teens are welcome in the auditorium for the service.

We will see you online or onsite.

Grace and peace to all of you,

Pastor Brian

Key Points to Remember

  1. Masks must be worn properly for all onsite Living Word services.

  2. If you have any symptoms or are not feeling well, please stay
    home and join us online at LWCCyork.live

  3. Registration is not required to attend.
    NOTE: Registration may be required for certain special services—We will advertise accordingly.

  4. kid::life is currently unavailable. We plan to re-introduce kid::life
    on February 7 at our 9:30 AM service. Check out here these resources for your family.

  5. Our Middle School ministries are currently available online. We plan on having Pulse (7th and 8th grade ministry) back in person starting January 21 at 6:00 PM. We plan to re-introduce Transit (5th and 6th grade ministry)  on February 7 at our 9:30 AM service.

  6. Please enter and exit through the automatic doors at entrances 2, 3, or 7.

  7. Please practice social distancing at all times.

* CDC-compliant capacities are 400 for our Main Auditorium and 50 for our Life Center video venue. We also continue to offer our 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM service times online at LWCCyork.live

Questions?

Contact Stephen Grames at 717-755-0089 x 132

Living Word's CLEAN Initiative

Our Christ-centered model for following CDC-recommended guidelines is best understood through the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:3-4: “…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Here’s how we’ve created a clean and safe experience at Living Word.

  1. Touch-Free Doorways: Doors to the auditorium will remain open so you will not need to touch them when entering or exiting.
  2. Secure Offering Boxes: As you enter and exit the Main Auditorium and Life Center, secure offering boxes will be available. During the service time when we take our offering, we will not pass the baskets.  Those who give online will be invited to do so.
  3. Bring Your Favorite Coffee: Living Word is not serving coffee or food for Sunday services at this time. You are welcome to bring your own coffee or water into the auditorium and dispose of any waste as you exit.
  4. Please Use the App: All information previously printed in our programs is available through the Living Word mobile app. There will be a limited number of printed devotional study guides. Download the Living Word App ⇒
  5. Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer stands are available at all entrances and other locations.
  6. Restroom Cleanliness: Restrooms will be open and cleaned prior to, during, and after the services.