Worship continued despite the pandemic-- moving from pews to our own couches as we worshiped online.
Worship tech evolved rapidly from prerecorded services to live stream on multiple platforms. Staff and volunteers met the learning curve with energy, expanding skills in filming, audio, video editing, and streaming.
To worship in person, we made reservations, donned masks, and met friendly ushers and greeters who streamlined safety procedures like temperature checks, sanitizing, and social distancing.
The pandemic brought the church’s mission into sharp focus as we launched the 2020 Vision series and the new Ascend discipleship model.
Our faith traditions continued in new ways as we learned to use single-serve communion cups or gathered items from our pantry to partake from home. We baptized three children and four adults – outdoors, in the tank, and with masks.
Church officers were ordained and installed over Zoom and we confirmed seven students in worship.
We celebrated Christmas with a beautiful online service, an opportunity for quiet reflection in the Sanctuary, and a family service.
The year 2020 was difficult for the Traditional Music Team, but that did not stop us from gathering, singing, and praying!
After kicking off a promising year with a full bell choir, excellent participation from the children in the Kid’s Choir, and the hosting of groups such as the Gettysburg College Choir, the church was quickly put on hiatus due to the pandemic.
The Covenant Choir continued to meet via Zoom meetings throughout the spring and summer on a weekly basis until we could devise a plan for October and the return of live music!
The music ministry longs for God, togetherness, music, and laughter. We were happy to have had that opportunity during the early months of the pandemic via online services and meetings and we are ecstatic to be able to share the word of God through music with our church community in person!
The Contemporary Worship Ministry truly grew together during 2020. For us, there is nothing better for the soul than making music together, and doing so week in and week out while trying to help our congregation stay connected has been our joy.
Our friendships are deeper, more meaningful, and longer lasting because of the challenges we faced. Take away all the lights, high-tech gear, and microphones and instruments, and you’ll find real community in the name of Jesus.
We started 2020 by welcoming our new Lead Pastor, Barnabas Sprinkle, with 15 meet-the-pastor gatherings in members’ homes, attended by over 160 people. Thank you to all the hosts and the planning team! On January 26, we celebrated Pastor Barnabas Sprinkle’s installation with a special worship service followed by a catered dinner, which over 180 people attended.
Buildings & Grounds
The Trustees completed a number of projects that maintain and enhance our buildings, grounds, and infrastructure with the goal of creating an inviting place to worship while being good stewards of the resources the Lord has entrusted to us.
- We installed five sets of glare-reducing blinds on the east side Sanctuary windows.
- We completed a major renovation to the Student Lounge by removing dated carpet paneling, repainting the walls, replacing the fixture covers, and installing new blinds
- We updated the campus directional signs, replaced the slats on the dumpster enclosure gate, repaired 4,000 feet of driveway cracks, replaced over 1,400 square feet of sidewalk, replaced the cottage porch ceiling, replaced the roofs on the cottage and two sheds, replaced damaged molding and trim, painted doors, panels, trim and siding on Douglas Hall, and completed an inspection of our storm drainage system.
- We also installed a new solar powered pump for the fountain and refinished the benches in the Memorial Garden.
- We had over a dozen church volunteers and trustees help with the weeding, mulching, and planting during the spring and fall cleanups along with the cleanups for the state inspections for The Children's Corner.
- We installed two new 20-ton split system cooling compressors, upgraded to R410 refrigerant, and replaced the kitchen ice maker that serves Center Court.
- We took down four dead trees, removed wisteria at the manse and trimmed shrubbery, pruned trees, pulled weeds around the campus and power-washed the cottage, office exterior, and Center Court entrance area.
- We continued with our security upgrade program by adding electronic access control locks to two exterior doors and replacing aging exit hardware on the Sanctuary and Douglas Hall buildings.
- We had 16 church volunteers participate in the Adopt-a-Spot and summer watering. Volunteers weeded, watered, and tended to one of the 15 plots and a dozen containers around the church campus. We purchased new stone planters for the Sanctuary.
Working with the pastors, Grow Team developed Ascend, a discipleship model that is both foundational and transformational. Ascend is designed to be a daily rhythm of drawing us closer to Jesus through focusing on three spiritual postures: gratitude, surrender and calling. We welcomed Ascend with a sermon series, guided prayers on the new Liberty Corner Church app and website, and in new small groups.
“The Ascend morning and evening prayers really resonate with me. The three areas of focus are spot on! I think the Grow Team did an excellent job of including the practices needed for us to grow to live, love, believe, and behave like Jesus. The hand postures reinforce the words that humble me as I recite them. While I often recite the prayer myself, I also am grateful for the app on my phone, and appreciate the soothing voice of the narrator as a change of pace.” – Sharon Szabo
Partly as a response to COVID, we created online small groups to help connect people who could not meet in person. A number of the groups centered on a weekly discussion of the sermon message. Currently, there are ten small groups, two women’s Bible studies, three men’s groups, as well as TraVERSEing the Word and Faith Café classes.
We offered Starting Point in the fall and it was well attended by members of the Young Adult small group. The pastors revamped Journey, a class for those considering church membership, and it will be offered in January 2021.
“I will be forever grateful for this year. All these studies have helped me handle what has been unexpectedly thrown at me. And the group has been so encouraging…” – Small Group Participant
The Grow Team developed training manuals for new small group leaders and for their coaches. A coaching ministry for the encouragement and development of small group leaders was put into place in fall of 2020 to sustain and grow this vital ministry. People who are part of a small group experience support and a deepening of their faith.
Under the guidance of Pastor Anne Havrilla, we launched Exalt Prayer Ministry which provides leadership and coordination for Liberty Corner Church prayer ministries. We held a churchwide prayer retreat in May and two prayer breakfasts to teach and equip members to be effective prayer warriors. Our goal is to grow the number of active prayer partners and to continue offering an annual prayer retreat with a special speaker and quarterly prayer breakfasts.
Exalt developed an intercessory prayer guide as a helpful tool for our prayer partners. We have 13 active prayer partners who regularly pray during worship services for the pastors and their families, LCPC ministries, and our church and community. We pass current prayer requests to our prayer partners with many of them having been answered, praise God!
Exalt met weekly via Zoom to pray, plan, and prepare for what God has in store for us in the weeks and months to come. We have much to celebrate and give thanks to God for the new growth He is creating in our little corner of the world!
Liberty Corner Kids
Liberty Corner Kids partners with parents to help children develop a faith in Jesus Christ that lasts a lifetime. Leadership and volunteers approached the challenges of 2020 with creativity and flexibility to provide Sunday school, Give Love Away service projects, Vacation Bible School, special holiday experiences, and more.
“While it was challenging at times to find creative ways to engage, guide, and encourage our kids and their families during this time, God consistently provided the ministry and its committed leadership with inspiration and creativity that helped us to reinforce the commandment to love one another.” - Kelly Tancredi, Liberty Corner Kids Director
“2020 was a challenging year for ministry - churches closed, Sunday School didn’t meet, technology issues were abundant and families struggled with a new normal. Thanks to the staff and volunteers at LCPC, LCKids continued to support, encourage, teach and minister to our families in new and creative ways through it all. We celebrate how God has blessed our efforts to stay connected to the families of our congregation during this unusual time.” – Kim Carroll, Sunday School Superintendent
Serving others is a core value of Liberty Corner Kids. Through weekly Sunday school offerings, the children supported six students in Hearts For Honduras School. Children cared for others in a variety of hands-on Give Love Away projects, including cooking meals to stock Shepherds Pantry, creating paintings for Malawi Visions, baking cookies and assembling care packages for college students, and writing encouraging notes for care packages for the church and community during quarantine.
Families created gifts for Ridge Oak Senior Housing residents; baked and delivered cookies; donated clothing, shoes, and food; gave away face masks; and encouraged others with chalk messages, notes, and video calls.
Student Ministry Task Force spend many months praying about and preparing a new mission and vision to equip a new director with a foundation from which to build. Over the course of the year, the Task Force received over 60 resumes and interviewed several candidates. Liberty Corner Church hired Joseph W. Kang as Student Ministry Director to begin in January 2021.
In 2020, we answered the call to go out into the world to share the good news with neighbors near and far with in-kind donations, volunteer service, and financial gifts.
We kicked off 2020 with the “29 Days, 29 Ways to Show God’s Love” campaign of kindness, culminating in the Rise Against Hunger meal packing event on Saturday, February 29. We packed 50,000 meals with 250 volunteers and $17,000 in donations.
Though the pandemic ended large gatherings, it did not stop us from sharing the good news through mission. Deacons reached out to the community with appreciation lunches for police and essential workers with close to 100 workers served.
The Deacon Compassion Ministry sent cards to 17 grieving families. We hosted Interfaith Hospitality Networks guests (now HOME of Somerset County) by providing meals.
The Giving Tree moved to an online format for signing out gift tags and over 100 gifts were distributed to children being served by Department of Children Protection and Permanency and the families participating in the Interfaith Hospitality Network program.
The Good Samaritan Ministry (Deacon Benevolence Fund) approved seven requests for financial support which impacted the lives of 15 people. The average grant given from Benevolence Funds was $2,050. The total amount for the year was $14,348. We also received two requests for support from LCPC affiliates. Stephen Ministry received a total of $12,000 to fund counseling ($7,000 in January and $5,000 in September). The Children’s Corner Scholarship Fund received $15,000.
Hearts For Honduras
The Hearts for Honduras School offers the poorest children in La Entrada, Honduras a comprehensive, Christ-centered education in a safe and nurturing environment. Students are empowered to reach their full potential to help break the cycle of poverty.
We continue to be thankful for God’s blessing on Hearts For Honduras School. Here's a snapshot of 2020.
Challenges from COVID-19
- For the first time ever, classes were taught virtually – a tremendous commitment from our students, parents, and our faculty. 87% of students were able to complete the school year.
- Economic hardship, pressure to work, and technology challenges impacted approximately 28 of our students who were not able to continue.
- Funded “feed a family” program and provided (with the help of school staff and families) thousands of meals to our school families and the La Entrada community.
- Health concerns for all
Celebrations in 2020
- 205+ students sponsored through our Sponsor A Student Program.
- Fourth year of the Teen Intern Program (New City Kids model) with continued growth and success.
- Our inaugural 9th grade graduation.
- 22 years of serving in God’s mission through Hearts For Honduras School
- Broke ground on our new Science Lab (due to be completed in March 2021).
- Purchased new laptops for every faculty member to better facilitate remote learning in 2021.
Despite the pandemic, Malawi Visions continued to make significant strides during 2020 to benefit the 6,000 orphan children we care for in Africa. We strive to empower our Malawian family to execute much of our development. This allowed significant progress to continue even though we couldn’t travel to Malawi this year.
Perhaps the most exciting news was that while all the schools in Malawi were closed for almost half of the year to guard against COVID, children of all ages flocked to the six libraries we’ve constructed and stocked with over 25,000 books the past few years.
When possible, our Teen Life Internship Programs (TLIP) continued with older children teaching and mentoring the young ones. During the height of the shutdowns, we received encouraging words from our Ministry of Hope counterpart Daniel.
“You were profound visionaries in setting up these libraries and learning centers which have now become the sole life-giving resources for all our college and secondary school students with all schools closed. The centers are the lifeline with no other alternative as children borrow books and read to keep themselves updated and active. The older teens are reading to the younger children to avoid the transfer of any virus, and to keep the books as clean as possible. All children have been taught proper handwashing with soap and water, which is required before entering the libraries. I just don't know how things would have been if it were not for these Libraries. May God bless you and keep you well and safe. Thank you on behalf of the many children.” - Daniel Moyo, Ministry of Hope
In addition to this, and ongoing development in Malawi, our teams at home continued preparation work albeit in much smaller groupings, or individually.
Projects included sewing skirts and shorts, restoring treadle sewing machines to initiate vocational training classes, collecting and organizing books to expand our libraries, repairing damaged Bibles, and of course constructing crates and packaging our annual shipment of tons of materials to Malawi to facilitate further programs there.
Stewardship & Financials
Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. - Deuteronomy 8:18
This has been a year we will never forget – so many challenges in 2020. Yet, we can also point to examples where God’s love and generosity overcame pandemic-related obstacles and to blessings from the goodness of God’s love.
God’s love, manifested in the generosity of the congregation, came through in a very significant way in 2020. The operating budget ended with a small surplus, thanks to your generosity along with a meaningful underspending of expenses. The amount of giving from those who pledge in 2020 was over 105% of the pledged amount! We praise God for his faithfulness to us and your response to Him.