It's not easy walking into a new place, a unfamiliar community, an unknown experience. We know. So whether you've grown up in a church, or are trying a different style of worship, or have never set foot in a church before, we do our best to help you be at ease.
If you need large print materials, hearing assistance, mobility assistance, or extra care, we are ready to meet your needs with paper, headphones, a lift, ADA bathroom, and willing hearts.
If you're new to Alaska, grew up here, or the military sent you to this "overseas" installation, you'll find people who have been there too, and they'll help you adjust.
If you've been turned away from other churches because you ask questions, or they were uncomfortable with who you love, or you couldn't be your authentic self, we've got a place for you here.
Scroll through our church Facebook Page, managed by members of Lord of Life. It will give you insight into the church, prepare you to hear Sunday's message, and help you engage in the community. Follow us, and keep your feed uplifted throughout the week!
We are a liturgical congregation, meaning we have an "order" to worship beyond singing and listening.
1st and 3rd Sundays: Traditional worship with sung liturgy and hymns
2nd and 4th Sundays: Contemporary worship with music you'd hear on Christian radio
5th Sundays: Pastor Curt changes up the service. Come to worship to find out what he's done!
We encourage families of all ages (and volumes) to worship together! Kids worship God in their own wiggly and noisy way and we need them with us! We have a children's message just for them, we encourage them to sing loud, to dance around, and to receive Communion.
We've got "quiet bags" with toys and activities hanging on hooks near the stairs, and when parents need a break from the wiggles, we've got a nursery space just for them to play on the entry level.
Lord of Life has open Communion: anyone who believes that Christ is present in this meal, and is a meal for them, are welcome to partake.
This includes toddlers! Sealed communion cups are being offered due to the pandemic.
Interactive classes are still offered every spring and fall to learn more about Communion and better focus our hearts on this meal of life.
You can expect a friendly greeting into our entryway. Hang up your coat, grab a cup of coffee in a mug downstairs, and make your way upstairs to worship. A lift is provided for those who struggle with stairs.
At the top of the stairs, you'll be greeted and given a bulletin with the order of worship and announcements. You'll see our font, table, burl wood pulpit, and diamond willow cross - physical signs of where God meets us.
Worship is projected on big screens, prayers are said together, we sing and laugh and gather in gratitude for God's work in our lives. Grab a seat where you're comfortable, wear jeans if you like, and walk away from your first worship with more than our jar of homemade jam.
Another part of being liturgical is a cycle of seasons in a church year, set apart by colors and focus of Scripture readings:
Advent blue (December)
Christmas white (Dec 25-Jan 5)
Epiphany green (next 4-6 weeks)
Lent purple (40 days before Easter)
Easter white (one day plus 6 weeks)
Pentecost red (50 days after Easter)
Season after Pentecost green (through Nov.)
The Lutheran Church supports both infant and adult baptism. Contact Pastor Curt to set up a meeting if you are interested in baptism.
The baptismal font at Lord of Life was carved by Cliff Pananen, with the help of Jerry Gustafson, from a cottonwood tree they found while running their dog teams near the Tanana River in Salcha. Beavers had been trying to chew it down, which accounts for the unusual pedestal formation.
The inscription, taken from Ephesians 4:5 reads, "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism." This was suggested by Pastor Paul Daniel, who presided at the baptism of Max Pananen, nephew of the font's carver, on May 19, 1985, the first time the font was used.
Curt recently joined Lord of Life in the role of interim pastor. He's an ELCA pastor who served as pastor at New Hope Methodist Presbyterian Church for six years until retiring in April 2021. He and his wife Darlene live in Fairbanks; their two sons and three grandchildren live in Fairbanks as well.
While Curt will perform many of the functions of a called pastor, the role of an interim is not merely to "keep things going" until a new pastor is called. This is a time to look in the corners and brush away the cobwebs. The months ahead are sure to be exciting!