The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Sweet change

Congregation grows by drawing Sunday evening toe-tappers

More than a year ago, an idea surfaced that would result in dramatic change for Living God Lutheran Church, Honey Brook, Pa. Those resisting change left, but most stayed. And in the end, the church found harmony through a toe-tapping, hand-clapping Sunday evening worship of bluegrass gospel called Sweet Water Sabbath.

Sweet Water Sabbath’s bluegrass music
Sweet Water Sabbath’s bluegrass music draws worshipers to Living God Lutheran Church in Honey Brook, Pa.: Ramona Wilt (left), Helen Wilt, Sarah Wilt and Howard Moore.
Richard L. Moore, pastor, wanted not only growth for the 15-year-old mission congregation but also to ensure community outreach.

“We take a usual contemporary service and retrofit it to bluegrass,” he said. “We probably have the only Sunday evening bluegrass service east of the Mississippi.”

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February issue


Embracing diversity