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'A circle of love'

Congregation offers seniors Maundy Thursday feast(s)

When the octogenarians arrived at the church, some with assistance, the parishioners were ready for them. The congregation had valet parking, greeters, and people to hang coats and tag people's walkers. Jim and Judy Cobb, pastors, were robed and ready to welcome them as well.

Two years ago, Ascension Lutheran Church, Towson, Md., invited all members 80 years and older to attend a special Maundy Thursday worship service and luncheon. "I had no idea how many people were over 80," Judy Cobb said. "That information wasn't in our computer. I guessed we might have a total of 40, but it was really almost 100 people, half of whom were homebound or in assisted living places." Nearly 70 attended the service.

Ascension Lutheran Church, Towson,
Ascension Lutheran Church, Towson, Md., honored senior members by inviting them to a special Maundy Thursday worship service and lunch. A photographer was on hand to capture both guests and volunteer helpers, later placing the photos in a book for the elders to enjoy.

The idea had come from the elders themselves. Though they attended worship in their assisted living facilities or watched services on Sunday morning television, many yearned to attend a Maundy Thursday service at their home church. "When I visited the homebound, they expressed a longing to take part in the confession and absolution, and take communion together," she added.

As plans developed, it became apparent that it would take more people and planning than originally envisioned. "But whenever an obstacle seemed insurmountable, someone would come forward to help," Cobb said.


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