In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
~ John 1:1, 14
Living Word is a member of the Augustana District of LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ).
We are a fellowship of forgiven and forgiving sinners who have found a way to walk together as imperfect people in an imperfect world: by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ!
What To Expect When You Visit Us on a Sunday Morning:
- First Impression: We do not own a church building. We presently lease part of the "old ProBuild" building near Larson ball fields and the ice rink on West Broadway Avenue in Moses Lake, which has been remodeled to suit a congregation of our size. Still, this can be something to get used to at first -- especially for those who are used to big, grand church buildings -- until you get to know us. We know that the church is the people of God, and there is a certain freedom that comes from experiencing church as people and not so much church as building. Once you are inside, you are obviously in a church -- "Come and See!" Our building is fully wheelchair accessible.
- We are family friendly! We do not have a separate nursery for young children. This might sound more family "un-friendly" at first, but we like having all of the children of all ages stay with us during the service as much as possible, even if they might get a little bit noisy at times. What better place for them to hear the Word and feel like they are a valued part of the congregation! This blog post, although not written by anyone associated with our church, says it all: don't stay away from church just because you have children who might make a little noise once in a while -- we can handle it! We do have a small "mother's room" in our sanctuary where you can have some privacy for nursing your baby or if a toddler needs a distraction.
"Open Space" Prayground
-- a place where toddlers can enjoy church, so their parents can, too.
If your toddler or pre-preschooler needs more room to move around, feel free to make use of this space at the back of the sanctuary with them.
We know the little ones just can't sit in a confined space for very long, but they do benefit by being a part of worship even while they play. Quiet toys and board books are provided, and for more privacy, the little room behind is also an option.
Approx. once a month, after church and fellowship time, we try to have Sunday School class for all ages, called GIFT (Growing in Faith Together). Most other weeks we have an open forum discussion group after the service where you can have your questions answered -- whatever comes up from the service, or from the week before!
We enjoy each other! Fellowship is an important time for the people of Living Word. This means we sometimes do not start the worship service *exactly* at 9 AM, and when it's done, we have a time for coffee and goodies before the Sunday school time begins. This is when we meet and greet new folks, visitors, and each other. We hope that when you visit us, you have time to stay and enjoy a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, tea, or cider, and chat a bit while eating a cookie or two. Then join us for the discussion hour, where you can have more of your questions answered and get to know us better!
We are liturgical. This means we follow an order of service that includes certain elements such as confession and absolution, hymns, prayers, readings from the Bible, a statement of our beliefs (creed), the Lord's Prayer, and a benediction. It is not always exactly the same order of service, but in general, all of those things will happen each week. Following a liturgy doesn't mean we are super formal in our worship practices, however -- we are actually quite informal. Pastor Hesse usually does not wear any extra clothing items during the service (but may wear a robe and/or stole on certain Sundays or seasons of the church year); the Bible lessons are often read by members (so it's not always perfect); and the Lord's supper is also often hosted by lay members. We have been using the liturgy from the ReClaim Introductory hymnal, containing music by John Ylvisaker as our order of service.
We like to sing! We use hymns and music from various sources, mostly the ReClaim, and With One Voice hymnals, and music and liturgy by John Ylvisaker during our Sunday services. We are fortunate to have the services of two very fine keyboard players, and both a piano and an electronic keyboard that can be played in piano or organ mode.
Every other week (2nd and 4th Sundays of the month) we celebrate the Lord's Supper, also called Holy Communion. You do not need to be a member of this congregation to commune with us -- it is the Lord's supper. If you have been baptized and believe in the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins, you are welcome at the Lord's table. If you are not sure about yourself or your children partaking of communion, or if you are not yet baptized, please talk to Pastor Hesse. Anyone who is not communing can come forward to receive a blessing as you kneel at the communion rail, including children.
We do not pass an offering plate during the service; instead, we have an offering box near the door for member contributions to our church budget and outside ministries. It is our understanding and expectation that each family will decide how they will serve the Lord through their financial giving, recognizing that not all of God's work is done through a church congregation. Using a simple budget in which most items are figured on a percentage basis after the few fixed costs are met, we rarely are "behind budget," which makes it easier to be cheerful givers! (2 Cor. 9:7) You will never be pressured about finances here!
Other Sermon Links
Lou Hesse "Faith in the Promises"
09-Oct 25 Reformation Sunday
What Lutherans Believe :
- There is only one true God, and yet in this one God there are three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit, as taught in the three Ecumenical creeds of the church.
-- A creed is simply a statement or confession of what one believes.
About the Bible
Jesus said, "The Scriptures testify about me." (John 5:39)
- The main message of the Bible is the good news of God's work to reconcile the world to Himself through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Throughout Old and New Testaments, the central message of the Scripture is the account of how God was in the world preparing it to receive His Son and then what His Son did when He was here.
- The Bible reveals God's perfect holiness and righteousness, and His expectation of perfection. His Law, summarized best in the Ten Commandments, reveals our sinful rebellion and our inability to save ourselves. The Gospel is the joyful news that our Lord Jesus Christ has given us complete forgiveness from our sins through His life, death and resurrection for us.
- The most important message of the Bible is not the Law of God. The Bible is not merely a collection of principles for daily living. The Bible is not a textbook that answers every possible question we may have. Nor for that matter is the Bible a book that predicts every last detail about the future. The central and most important teaching in the Bible is the Gospel, the good news of God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.(1)
The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three short phrases:
Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
- Grace alone: God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
- Faith alone: By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
- Scripture alone: The Bible is God's Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
About the Church
- We believe in the Priesthood of all Believers. While some are set aside for formal pastoral ministry, we are all ministers of the Gospel, called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
- Article 7 of the Augsburg Confession states: The church exists where "the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc. Eph. 4, 5. 6." (emphasis added)