Worship at Lynnhurst offers individuals an opportunity to realize they are not alone on the journey of life. Whether you are a faithful church pillar or a questioning skeptic, an atheist or a multi-religious practitioner, we welcome everyone to join us. We think of the Sunday morning worship hour as so much more than a place to read ancient liturgy or sing old hymns, though we do engage both of those. Rather, Sunday mornings at Lynnhurst are about connecting with family and friends as we celebrate a force that is beyond on us. This force, our Creator God, teaches that all people are children of God and therefore equal in worth. It is a message that we believe supports us in the hustle-and-bustle of day-to-day living.
Sundays give us space to pause from the busyness to rest in the presence of God and one another as we look for peace and wholeness. Worship gives us occasion to be smart, reverent, culturally relevant as we honor the past, and expectant of a spiritual stirring within us. Sometimes we sing really loudly, sometimes we cry together. Then there are those moments of raucous laughter and earnest questioning. We believe that anyone, not just ordained clergy, should help lead worship events, which is why many of our services are planned by a group of curious and multi-aged attenders.
We love to have children in worship--both nestled in the pews with their families or helping to lead the service from the chancel. Children remind us adults that God delights in playful hearts, creative minds, and moving bodies. S we work to incorporate elements of fun, dance, and authentic joy for folks of all ages in the sanctuary.
We believe that worship stems from our service to one another. So we hope our worship reflects not only our ideas about the divine, but more to the point, the ways in which we seek to be tangible expressions of a just love, a love that has the power to changes lives for the better.
Katie called Lauren one afternoon and said, "Hey! We could feed people. Let's figure this out." This launched us into our most recent ministry venture. The last Tuesday of each month, neighborhood folk and church folk get together to prepare, cook, eat, and clean-up a delicious dinner. Thanks to Kentucky Harvest, great super shopper savers, and many other generous people, we have begun to meet and interact with those folks who live close to our church building.
We serve about 75-100 meals on the last Tuesday of each month at 5:30PM. Anyone is welcome to come for the food, to volunteer, or to simply rest in the company of others. One of the best parts of Community Table is the partnerships we have formed by hosting it. We have worked with Jefferson County Public Schools, Passport Health Network, United Way, PAL (Parklands, Algonquin, and Old Louisville) Coalition, Neighborhood Place, Iroquois Public Library, local law enforcement, Hazelwood Elementary School, and Westport High School to provide volunteer opportunities for students, room for community conversation around hot-topics like race, drug violence, and drug use, as well as room for other agencies to inform the community about the social services available to them. We work really hard to offer hot food along with opportunities for authentic engagement with our neighbors where we learn from one another about what we all need in order to function more fully.
This amazing organization gives volunteers the chance to package dry food goods into boxes for shipment to remote areas in the developing world. In an era when childhood hunger persists, despite the world's abundance of resources, we partner with other local UCC churches every February to pack as many meals as possible. Our record for 2016 in 20,000!
Every May, close to Mother's Day the church upholds a strong legacy of honoring all nurturers, because we all have the opportunity to be a maternal presence in someone's life. This is a time for Lynnhursters to invite their grandmothers, mothers, daughters, grand-daughters, great-grand-daughters, nieces,great-nieces (you get the idea) to a catered luncheon. Last year we invited the young women who reside at Uspiritus to join us. Afterward, we worked together to construct scrapbooks with many of the gathered supplies. Children who are in care of the state government must create a life-book, and for many, this was the first time they had ever seen a photo of themselves. It was a beautiful time of reflecting, celebrating giftedness, and meeting new friends.
There are over twenty-six languages spoken within a five mile radius of our church building as many refugees and immigrants resettle in our neighborhood. In an effort to build relationships with our international neighbors, one event we host is our "Backpack Blessing." For about two months the church collects school supplies, everything from uniforms to backpacks to notebooks to scissors. Then on the day of our Backpack Blessing event we celebrate education and God's blessing with as many neighborhood friends as possible.
We host a day of family fun with crafts, song and dance, story time, and yummy, healthy snacks. Then together we stuff the supplies into the backpacks through assembly line fashion. Kids who need a backpack are welcome to take one and the others are donated to the local elementary school. We top it off with a special Sunday worship event where the children bring their new backpacks to church so that the congregation can pray for the school year and bless all children and educators on behalf of God.
Our pastor really likes coffee shops. While she mostly drinks tea, she can tell you the best pastries at most of the shops in town. So it makes sense that she hosts weekly office hours at different locations.
We are a church that communes in other joy-filled ways too! Our fall picnic, bonfires at the Matheny Farm--the Mathenys are a pretty cool family in our church, attending plays and other social events, and seeing which Sunday School class can host the most festive Christmas party each December are a few of the other highlights. This list does not even mention the dishes that get shared at all of our potlucks. Lynnhurst cooks and chefs, along with the kitchen crew are a commodity.
We love our church building. Lots of people say, and we agree, that the "church" is not the building but the people who are in and around it. But we also believe that our building is a gift to be shared with the community. It gives us space to be who we are and to learn more about who we are becoming. Check out some of the various groups who use building space throughout the week. (LINK TO THAT PAGE) So, it makes sense then that we have a lot of fun maintaining the building both inside and out.
Dartball, a game in which darts are thrown at a large wooden board that resembles a baseball field. Dartball, when two teams of about seven players attempt to distract the batter in order to prevent a high score.Dartball, a favorite past-time for many friends at Lynnhurst.
Our team of champions enjoys competing against other local church and civic teams in this community sport. You do not have to be a church member to be on the team. In fact, we are always looking to welcome beginners and experts alike. And of course spectators are always welcome as well.