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2017 Feast of Tabernacles Campout Weekend at Rayen Resort
Posted on October 19th, 2017

October 6th – 8th, we celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with our annual Campout Weekend! All of our congregants (and more!) look forward to this weekend of camping festivities every year. It is a special time of family, food, and fun, all with a deep spiritual significance of dwelling together as a community with the heavenly Father.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Campers began arriving early Friday afternoon to start assembling tents. The kids were especially excited about the weekend ahead of them. But it wasn’t just the kids who felt great anticipation! Everyone who arrived came with a smile, which added up to a night of greeting, deep conversations, and a wonderful meal. This sweet time of fellowship flowed into a Shabbat ceremony, in which we gave thanks to the Lord for the previous week and looked ahead for Him to create the next. Gary Hargrave brought a short message that encouraged us to rejoice on this day—to “eat of the fat and drink of the sweet” (Nehemiah 8:10). We ended our formal gathering with a deep time of worship, followed by conversations that lasted long into the evening.

While the adults were celebrating Shabbat, the Joshua Generation children gathered around the kids’ campfire. One of the parents reported:

We had a family atmosphere and the excitement was palpable. We began by blessing Margo Walkoe and expressed our love for her and our gratefulness for all she’s doing as the overseer of the Joshua Generation.  Margo talked about why this weekend is so special. She reminded the children that we are celebrating like the Israelites, all camping together as a family. God led them with His pillars of cloud and fire and provided for their every need. He will dwell with us too! After the teaching, Jenni Mickelson and Cassia Lozinski led the children in a couple of fun songs. Margo said, “Everyone’s heart is so open and each child should look with excitement for God to meet them personally this weekend!” When the group campfire came to a close, the 0-5 year olds gathered to begin a fun, parent-led flashlight walk, and the 6-11 year olds eagerly gathered to begin a large, rowdy game of Sardines!

flashlight walk

Later Friday night, quite a few adults gathered around the fire pit for a question-and-answer session. Gary wanted to follow up on a recent series of messages he brought about Israel and Judaism.

SATURDAY MORNING

After breakfast, we gathered for the annual Wilderness Walk: an interactive, traveling play that tells the story of the Exodus. The experience includes actors dressed as Egyptians and Hebrews, dancing ladies with scarves, and a “red sea” complete with fish hats. Led by a booming-voiced God, a floating pillar of cloud and fire, and, of course, Moses, the audience of Hebrews left Egypt and came into the Promised Land. Every year, as we create this goofy and fun production, we remember the promises God has given to His people, and His dedication to be a Father to them.

Wilderness Walk

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

After a delicious lunch, many children, parents, friends, and grandparents gathered in the schoolyard for games and fun. The younger children enjoyed themselves on several bounce houses, while the main attraction was kickball, played with a very large rubber ball. There was lots of laughter and running after the large bouncing ball, since even the most athletic ones were having trouble catching it. With temperatures in the mid-90s, break time consisted of tossing two full buckets of water balloons at one another. Elsewhere, people were staying cool on the water slide or in the swimming pool.

SATURDAY NIGHT

The gathering Saturday night was the capstone to our weekend. The food was amazing, as usual. The highlight of the evening was the awesome presence of the Lord that was so evident in our worship together. The anointing continued to grow throughout the evening in a time of personal ministry, and through deep impartation to us in a message Gary Hargrave spoke titled, “God’s Compassion to Fulfill His Word Over You”. Later in the evening, we gathered around the fire pit for another question-and-answer session with Gary about our relationship with, and love for, the Jewish people.

Israel & Judaism Q&A

At the kids’ campfire, the Joshua Generation was entertained by a group of traveling Yiddish bards and thespians (in reality, sleep-deprived teenagers from our congregation). Together, they gave a hilarious production of the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness, complete with funny hairdos and out-of-tune songs. The kids loved the show! After the actors left the dusty stage, the kids sang campfire songs and told stories while making s’mores and receiving tabernacles gifts. It was a wonderful evening of fellowship and fun for the kiddos!

SUNDAY MORNING

While most of the campers attended service at the church, the Joshua Generation children and their parents had a special worship service at the Rayen Resort.  Jenni Mickelson led the children in songs and worship in the Spirit. Ben Bradley brought a short teaching to the children, explaining how they can spend their whole day worshiping the Lord and including Him as they brush their teeth or play with friends! Ben said one of the ways we learn to worship and love the Lord is by loving one another, and by loving our family. The children joined in a time of showing their love for the Lord by laying hands on their parents and grandparents, and blessing them with God’s love.

Ben Teaching Children

Jonathan Mickelson also brought a short teaching on how the Lord taught the Israelites to trust Him in the wilderness. Each day, they had to trust Him to bring them new manna. The message set the stage for the annual Manna Hunt! Following clues that led the children from one area to the next, they found bags of “manna” that the Lord had left for them (Cheerios and gummy candy!). The last stop in the hunt showed what happened if the Israelites didn’t trust the Lord to take care of them: the manna included some real, live creepy-crawly mealworms. Yuck! The kids decided the chickens at the school farm would enjoy this final bag of manna, and wrapped up the hunt by feeding the chickens a special treat.

After a delicious lunch together, campers pitched in to help clean up the property. Thank you, Lord, for a fun family weekend together. We look forward to this new year in God’s presence!
 

Church of the Living Word and Iglesia de Dios – First Anniversary Celebration
Posted on April 12th, 2017

It’s been one year since Church of the Living Word began sharing our facility with the congregation of Iglesia de Dios. To celebrate this important milestone, both congregations joined together for a wonderful combined Sunday morning service.

We opened the service by welcoming both congregations, voicing that our hearts are being joined together in oneness, and announcing that our service was being shared via the Internet with churches and families in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala!

Musicians, singers, and worship leaders from both congregations worked together to lead everyone into a dynamic time of worship. Sharing many songs familiar to both congregations, we flowed back and forth between English and Spanish, interspersed with intense times of worshiping in the Spirit. Whatever our language, we were united by a common drive to worship the Lord.

After the worship, Pastor Omar Pinto brought a dynamic message, laying a vision for the coming Holy Week, and calling on everyone to reflect not only on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but more importantly on the fact that He is our risen Lord! His purpose is to be close to us, and to bring His Kingdom on the earth.

Following Pastor Omar’s message, Gary Hargrave conveyed a prophetic vision of what God is doing by joining our two congregations together. Just as Christ sent forth the seventy two by two and shook the spirit realm, God will use the oneness between our two congregations to bring the lordship of Christ to this community. As we continue to be given to oneness in Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom will spread from our neighborhood to Central and South America; and those nations will, in turn, help release North America into God’s Kingdom.

We closed the service by taking Communion together. After the service, we shared a time of food and fellowship, feasting on amazing tacos and tamales provided by Iglesia de Dios!

We Believe in Sanctification – Audio
Posted on February 3rd, 2017


1/15/2017 Sunday AM, North Hills, CA
Matt Walkoe
42:39 minutes

Pentecost — From Disciples To Living Epistles
Posted on June 17th, 2016

 

Last Sunday we were blessed to have Dani and Debbie Oliveira, pastors of Hale O Nā Kāula Church, in our service. Debbie helped lead us in worship and Dani ministered a Word. Here is a video of that Word. The… (more)

We Connect with the School of Prophets in Brazil — Fri. PM & Sat. AM
Posted on February 6th, 2016

The annual School of Prophets conference in Mount Zion, Niteroi, Brazil began yesterday, and we are staying connected with our sister church! Friday evening and Saturday morning we gathered in Cafe LA to hear the blogs from the services and send our support through prayer. We expressed our faith for this time through prophecy, prayer, worship, waiting on the Lord together, and reading Scriptures. We stand in oneness with those at the conference and send our love and faith. We’ll see you tonight at 6 PM for more time together in worship!

Tabernacles Campout Events – Saturday and Sunday 2015
Posted on October 7th, 2015

Saturday Afternoon

Campfire GatheringThe infamous field day was held Saturday afternoon at the Centers of Learning field, hosted by the wonderful and charismatic Aaron and Christa Eadson. After recruiting and sorting everyone into six different teams, the games were off! The first activity was a relay race with multiple tasks such as crab-walking, balancing an egg on a spoon, hula-hooping, and much more. The teams were then given the task of getting water into a bucket by filling it with a squirt gun and the team with the fullest bucket won. To conclude the games, the teams played a water balloon tossing race, which ended in an all-inclusive, massive water balloon fight spanning the entire field. At the end of the games, Mikey Cabral’s team were declared the winners, and given an award of the highest value: passes to the front of the dinner line!

Meanwhile, back around the firepit, Eric Shwartzbaum (MDiv) gave an enlightening PowerPoint presentation about how the Feasts mark the milestone events in Israel’s history. He showed how the divine will of God can be seen through His prophetic calendar, and how much Tabernacles reveals the fulfillment of God’s relationship with His people. Eric connected us with our Hebraic roots of faith. After the presentation, there was a Q&A session, and people expressed their hunger to know more and thanked Eric for the “feast” of truths he laid before us.

Saturday Evening

The evening service was filled with amazing creative worship. It seemed that all the worshipers were giving thanks in the presence of the Lord, driven to simply be with our Heavenly Father.

Meanwhile, the Joshua Generation gathered around a campfire to watch the annual Tabernacles Play. Before it started, small bags were handed out to the kids with items representing silver, gold, gems, acacia wood, animal skins, and oil – all the items God asked the Children of Israel to give in order to build His tabernacle in the wilderness. The actors in the play asked the kids to donate some of the goodies from their bags, but encouraged them to keep the sweet-tasting ones (like the chocolate coins). The play taught the kids how the Lord delivered the Israelites from Egypt, and gave them the materials they needed to build a perfect house for Him to dwell among His people; He loves us and wants to be with us, and will provide everything needed to create the right atmosphere. Even though it was a silly portrayal, it was also a time of thankfulness for the Lord’s provision!

At the end of the day, there was a presentation around the firepit about how to utilize The Living Word store website. Word workers and web developers shared their heart for getting the Word to the world and the best ways to find results on the store. Thousands of Words are available on the store for academic research and for enriching our lives.

Sunday Morning

While the adults were worshiping in the church sanctuary, the children in the Joshua Generation and their parents had their own service around the firepit. JJ McClane led worship, including fun songs and hand motions! The children held out their hands, imagining them as a cup that the Lord is filling, and then raising their hands to give back the blessing to God. He encouraged them to imagine the rain of the Lord falling – like it rained on our tents last night!

After worship, Ben Bradley brought the Word, teaching how people all over the world worship the Lord just like we do. He encouraged the kids to list different ways to worship: on our knees, at church, while reading the Bible, eating dinner with family, or even while brushing our teeth! You don’t have to be in church to worship – it’s in your spirit and heart, imagining the Lord being with you. Worship is like watering a tree, because when a tree gets water, it grows big and strong, and when you worship you become big and strong in God! Worship is how He dwells with His people. The kids then practiced these principles in more worship.

At the end of this special service, there was a teaching about how God provided food for the Israelites in the wilderness – Manna! The kids hunted for manna (hidden bags of cereal and gummy worms) through the whole property, including the barn!

Tabernacles Campout Events – Friday and Saturday 2015
Posted on October 3rd, 2015

Friday Evening

Campfire GatheringAfter a relaxed time of arriving and setting up our tents, we kicked off our camp out weekend with Holy Communion. This was a perfect way to begin this special time with our focus on the Lord. We followed this up with worship, and there was so much joy and expectation that five people, one after another, sang impromptu psalms about dwelling in the presence of the Lord. This was a tremendous time of fellowship, as well as a deep meeting with God.

One of the most fun parts of the evening was when Margo Walkoe blessed the children and led them to invite the Lord to “come into our hearts.” The rest of the evening was spent enjoying each others’ company and anticipating the weekend’s activities.

After worship, the 12-to-18 year-olds filled up water balloons for Saturday’s field activities (which naturally resulted in a water balloon fight) and had a night-time soccer game out on the Centers of Learning field. Meanwhile, the 1-to-11 year-olds, in the Joshua Generation, went on a Flashlight Walk around the whole campsite and made the adults jealous by having s’mores around the campfire.

Saturday Morning

Breakfast with our church family is always fabulous! Gourmet coffee, crispy bacon, fluffy pancakes, savory egg frittata, and family time are the best way to start our fun-filled day together. After eating, the Joshua Generation (as well as many adults) participated in the annual Wilderness Walk. Moses (Phil Mitchell), Joshua (Sam Brown), and Caleb (Jon Mickelson) led the congregation of “Israelites” safely through the Red Sea, traditionally made up of actors in blue tarps with squirt guns – perfect for such a hot day! We were then led through the school to the Land of Canaan (AKA the main hall). And at the end of the trek, we worshiped before heading back to the pool deck for lunch. Thank You, Lord, for fulfillment, family, and food!

 

Strangers And Sojourners – Audio
Posted on October 3rd, 2015


10/3/2015 Saturday PM, North Hills, CA
Matt Walkoe
24:50 minutes