May 2021 Updated Covid 19 Policies

Celebration Summer 2021

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Join us each Sunday morning this Summer as we celebrate the people and ministries of Lovers Lane UMC

June Celebrations

June 6

Dottie Ramsay's Birthday & Congregational Care Ministries

June 13

Rev. Donna Whitehead’s 21 Year Anniversary at LLUMC and Women’s Ministries

June 20

Rev. Tom Hudspeth’s 20 Year Anniversary, Deaf Ministry and Father’s Day

June 27

The Music Ministries of all our Worship Communities

July Celebrations

July 4

Worship Volunteers

July 11

Missions Volunteers

July 18

Capital Campaign Supporters

July 25

Adult Sunday School Leaders

August Celebrations

August 1

Family Ministry Volunteers

August 7-8

August Alleluia! Revival

August 15

Promotion Sunday

August 22

Gospel Brunch

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Reopening and Recovering

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Dear Lovers Lane UMC Family,

I am writing to communicate with you regarding two important matters

  1. Our COVID-19 response and resuming of in-person worship, and
  2. The recent weather damage at our LLUMC and Walnut Hill Church campuses.

COVID RESPONSE AND WORSHIP INNOVATIONS

First, it is with great joy that we announce that on Sunday, March 7 we will resume in-person worship services. The COVID-19 statistics have dramatically moved from a “high” in mid-January of 213 weekly deaths in Dallas County and record hospitalizations, to having numbers lower than we have seen in several months. This is largely due to good social distancing practices, people getting vaccines, and those who have had COVID and now have antibodies. We are thankful for this positive movement, but we must continue to be vigilant and responsible.

Nearly one year ago, on March 14, 2020, we were mandated to close our in-person worship services due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At that time, we began online streaming of our worship services at a new and enhanced level, at Lovers Lane and at Walnut Hill Church. On October 11, 2020, we resumed in-person worship, while still offering six online worship services at Lovers Lane and one at Walnut Hill, where we also started meeting in the parking lot.. I know of no other UMC congregation that has streamed seven weekly worship services, and I am thankful for the way the staff and volunteers have helped to make these services meaningful and the quality exceptional.

In December, we started having outbreaks of COVID among the staff and our families. There were eight total virus cases, including Tammy and me. There was a noticeable rise in the number of members whom we knew had Coronavirus and an increase in deaths within our congregation as the Thanksgiving surge was leading us to what would surely be a worse surge after Christmas. This caused us to make the disappointing decision to cease in-person worship, do Christmas Eve online and continue online only until we could see a noticeable change in the Coronavirus statistics.

We have done surveys and regular assessments of class and group members regarding their readiness to return to in-person worship. We have heard from some who have been upset that we have not been worshipping in-person. Please realize we have made these calls based on data, governmental advice, and UMC Conference consultation. We take all of these matters seriously and we prayerfully make decisions to protect you and others. We would not be resuming in-person worship if we did not believe we can do so responsibly and safely. These safety measures will only work if those of us who gather follow them and adhere to the socially distancing guidelines we have outlined; just as we all did so successfully last fall. We are extremely ready to bring members of the congregation together again for safe worship and fellowship.

Please see below for our in-person and online worship times as well as the steps we are taking to keep everyone safe.

WINTER STORM DAMAGES ON CAMPUSES

The historic freeze hit us hard, but we feel very fortunate to have our damages isolated on all three of our Lovers Lane UMC campuses—Lovers Lane at Inwood Road, Walnut Hill at Marsh Lane, and 723 on Fort Worth Avenue in West Dallas. First, the great news—723 had no issues related to the freeze.

Lovers Lane had virtually no damage inside our buildings, nor was there damage at the CSD or Copeland House. Our major damage was in the central plant with the freezing of equipment that shut down our HVAC for much of the campus. It happened later in the freeze event; therefore, the buildings did not get extremely cold nor did we lose power. Our facilities team, headed by Rusty George, did an incredible job of getting a quick response and assessment of our damages. A plan was developed to address these matters to keep Wesley Prep on schedule and the few other on-campus activities continuing. Repairs are costly and some are not covered by insurance, most of the freeze issues at Lovers Lane were repair in nature.

Walnut Hill had considerable damage due to breaking water pipes in the ceiling of the buildings. Quick response and clean-up kept this situation from getting worse. Scott Luginbill and the facilities team worked tirelessly to make sure we had a plan and getting the damages addressed. The Creative School was able to open on schedule uninterrupted. Those in the office area that was damaged, were successfully relocated as cleanup commenced immediately. Walnut Hill will have repairs and damages that the insurance will help with.

All in all, preliminary cost assessments to LLUMC, beyond insurance assistance, could be six figures. Whereas this is not good news, the news could have been so much worse and we are thankful that we dodged most of the disruption issues for our schools and day-to-day activity.

Thanks for all you do for our church and your prayers for our staff, ministry, and outreach. It will be good to be back together in-person for worship. Easter is coming!!!

Grace and Peace,
Stanley R. Copeland

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REOPENING SAFETY PROCEDURES

  • Masks: Per CDC guidelines, all attendees will be required to wear masks while in the building.and when gathering in outdoor spaces.
  • Social Distancing: Seating will be marked in the sanctuary and chairs will be set in Asbury to provide safe social distancing. Greeters will guide worshippers to their seats. Attendees are asked to practice safe social distancing in all other areas of the campus as well.
  • Communion: We will celebrate Communion on March 7 in a safe way using elements that have been carefully prepared and individually packaged by our staff.
  • Registration: Attendees will be asked to register their attendance at the entrance to each worship space to provide the ability for contract tracing in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 infection.
  • Parking Lot: We will ask each service to park in designated parking lots, but, we will be flexible in our expectations that congregants may not follow those directions. See assignments below
    • Thrive: 9:30 a.m.
      Park and enter in Entrance A (by the welcome desk)
    • Crosswalk: 11:00 a.m.
      Park and enter in Entrance A (by the welcome desk)
    • Traditional: 11:00 a.m.
      Park and enter in Entrance C (by the Spire)
    • Zimbabwe: 11:00 a.m.
      Park and enter in Entrance B (by the Shepherds Garden)

Christmas Newsletter 2020

Christmas Newsletter

2020 Review and Year-End

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Dear Lovers Lane UMC Family,

As we near the end of 2020, we can look back at a most difficult year for all of us. We can think about how time moved so slowly, as we socially distanced and masked. We are aware of all of the places we were not able to go with our families and friends, places where we so wanted to be. The Church is a community - it thrives on being together. We are about loving through outreach and ministry - together. We are about worshipping through prayer, song, gifts, laughs, hugs, and sharing made more sacred when we are all together in the sacred places we love. Not being able to celebrate life and weddings and memorial services has been an unexpected burden. For pastors, not being able to easily visit members, especially those who are sick and homebound, in hospitals, nursing facilities, and homes has made for a difficult time. 2020 has been a challenging time.

I mentioned Sunday that in the Bible’s original language sources there are two words for time. One is Chronos, from which we get the word chronology or calendar. Chronos time is measured by the ticking of the clock. The other word for time in the Bible is kairos. It is an expectant time. Kairos time is rich, special, significant, even sometimes dramatic. What has been the Kairos time you have experienced this year that took you to a place of new purpose and meaning? I see it in many ways at Lovers Lane:

  • Kairos time broke in when the church doors had to close, and we distanced and quarantined. Staff members prayed with people every night online and Vespers Prayer Friends was born to keep hundreds of us praying together in the evenings. What a blessing of time.
  • Kairos time is a young mother, nine months pregnant, waiting any day to deliver her baby and all of her family waiting with her. We had a new grandbaby, Lily Grace, born in October. What a blessing of time.
  • Kairos time sometimes arises out of very contentious times. We experienced challenges regarding race relations and tensions, peaceful protests and riots, political rigidity and elections. Hurtful actions and words have at times been the order of the day. But, we made time for online conversations and virtual workshops. I even wrote a cookbook with stories addressing some of these socio-political tensions that come our way from time to time. What a blessing of time.
  • Kairos time gave rise to addressing some of our facility needs. We have cleaned and sanitized like never before. We refurbished our sanctuary floors, renovated our beloved organ, are restoring our iconic stained-glass all paid for by generous giving. What a blessing of time.
  • Kairos time came when the word was out that we had neighbors experiencing food insecurity. The Food Ministry was born in the “fullness of time.” And the word got out to our neighbors and ministry partners, and now over 150,000 individuals have been fed nearly a half million pounds of fresh produce, rice, and beans. Your generous giving made it happen. What a blessing of time.

I have chosen not to grieve our inability to gather with those experiencing homelessness at Lovers Lane for a typical Everybody’s Christmas experience this year. I expect a Kairos time as we pass out coats to the homeless in the shelters and spirited worship is brought to us by our prison ministry and champions we met while they were incarcerated.

I have decided not to fret over having to do Christmas Eve differently this year as we come together virtually only on December 24th nearly all-day long. I expect great things in God’s good time.

Let me also say as your pastor, I am thankful for you. Your generosity allows us to continue to be the church as we seek to be in step with our God, who came to us in the “fullness of time” as the Babe of Bethlehem. I am expectant of us being able to financially finish the year strong because I know God will move our hearts to give. Those of us who have employment and means will give, while others who are suffering do what they can. God will perform another miracle and allow us to meet our missional responsibilities and help us end the year in the black with a budget balanced. And remember, look for making Kairos time. It will be happening.

God is Good,

Walnut Hill Church

We are excited to let you know what’s going on at the newly adopted Walnut Hill Church campus of Lovers Lane UMC!

First of all, our Board of Directors has been hard at work! Once Walnut Hill Church was adopted, a board was created to help contextualize the mission of Lovers Lane UMC, “Loving ALL people into relationship with Jesus Christ,” for the Walnut Hill Church community. This board has done a great job crafting core values, researching demographics and creating a mantra, or a way we communicate what we do. I’m happy to say that the way we Love ALL people is by “connecting and serving with our neighbors.” This mantra communicates not only the core values of Walnut Hill Church, but of our entire community as well. This mantra has driven us to continue our Drive-In Worship on Sundays at 11 am in the East Parking Lot of Walnut Hill Church so we can better connect with our neighbors. It has rallied us around providing Christmas to 40 homeless students at Thomas Jefferson High School in partnership with The Creative School (Walnut Hill Church’s preschool). It has also focused us on many ministries to begin early next year including a blood drive in partnership with our neighbors. We are so excited to continue putting this mantra into action!

I also want to celebrate the amazing team you have working at Walnut Hill Church. Some of you may know Pastors Scott Luginbill and Tom Hudspeth. Pastor Scott is now the Executive Pastor at Walnut Hill Church. Pastor Scott works tirelessly to ensure things are running smoothly in the building, with the staff and for The Creative School as well! It’s safe to say this adoption would not have gone through without Pastor Scott’s amazing work! Pastor Tom is the Pastor of Care extraordinaire! Pastor Tom works with our amazing congregational care team at Walnut Hill Church to ensure everyone who is in need receives a loving call, a kind note, or a warm meal! Pastor Tom is credited for our beautiful All Saints Sunday where we worshipped with 87 people in our parking lot! Some of you may not know our Treasurer, Patti Martin. Patti has been on staff at Walnut Hill Church now for quite a while and is excellent! Not only does she bring a wide breadth of history for Walnut Hill Church, but is an expert at what she does! Her management skills are out of this world and we are so blessed to be working with her! Next, we want to make sure we highlight Lyndel Doran, Director of The Creative School at Walnut Hill Church. Lyndel’s ministry to the young families and children of our community is a blessing! Her over-and-above work these last 5 months has allowed us to reopen The Creative School in the safest way possible. Way to go, Lyndel! We also want to celebrate the superbly talented Christine Bouton, Music Director and Organist. When I first arrived at Walnut Hill Church, a long-time member pulled me aside and said, “Please don’t mess with the music. It’s better than we deserve.” I can say with absolute certainty that Christine is better than any of us deserve! Not only does Christine bring her incredible musical talents, she also brings her incredibly musically talented family to the table. All 7 members of the Bouton family were able to play together the Sunday before Thanksgiving during Drive-In Worship. Finally, I want to make sure we celebrate our VOLUNTEER staff member, Cathy Bell. Yes, Cathy volunteers as the Membership Secretary to make sure that all of our data is collected and organized. What an incredible asset!

Thank you to everyone for your support of this amazing ministry!

Loving ALL,

Rev. Andy Nelms

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Everybody's Christmas

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Lovers Lane has always been a church for others. Through missions and outreach, we have met the tangible needs of people whom society has often forgotten. Over a decade ago, we dreamed of an event where we would invite people experiencing homelessness, former offenders, and everyone from our community to experience Christmas. Many of these people have spent most of their time waiting in lines to receive a meal. We hoped to extend the extravagant love of Jesus Christ to our friends through a seated hot dinner (no line), a warm coat, a bag of essential items, and of course, a Spirit-filled worship service. This event is called Everybody's Christmas because everybody is invited.

Everybody's Christmas will look different this year than it has previously, but the purpose remains the same: to share the love of Christ with everyone. This year, we will take Christmas to our neighbors. We will have a small service for the Prison Ministry, and it will be recorded for broadcast. Our guests, attending in-person, will receive a warm coat and a bag of essential items. For those not able to attend, we will hand-deliver the coats and gift bags to their living facilities. They will have the opportunity to watch the service online. The following weekend, we will take Everybody's Christmas to Austin Street Center - a shelter for people experiencing homelessness. They will receive a hot meal, a warm coat, a bag of essential items, a worship service, and lots of Christmas cheer. We have opportunities to serve for every comfort level, from praying at your home to carrying coats to Austin Street. For more information and to sign-up go to llumc.org/everybodyschristmas.

Family Christmas Experience

December 20 from 4:00-6:00 pm
and until 7:00 pm at Walnut Hill Church
December 21 is our inclement weather date.

This Summer, Jennifer Sutcliffe and I were spending our “typical day” serving with the Food Distribution while chatting and mourning the fact that we needed to cancel our Kids- and Student-led Christmas Eve worship service, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“What if we did a drive-thru??! Like this?!”

We began to walk the route of the Food Distribution, which winds around our entire campus and dream about what it could be. This could work! Soon, we learned that many of our beloved ministry partners were also having to cancel their Christmas traditions, and the Holy Spirit nudged us to invite them to be a part of this new thing.

This year, Lovers Lane, Walnut Hill Church, Wesley Prep, Christ’s Foundry, The Creative School, Lovers Lane Deaf Fellowship, and the Lovers Lane Foundation are all coming together to create a new tradition that allows us to embrace the unique gifts of our beautiful and diverse community and engage anyone who drives through in the journey of the first Christmas.

Family Christmas Experience is a free, safe, drive-thru experience with actors and live animals, and narration and music that you can hear using your phone, in English, Spanish, and see ASL! The journey doesn't stop there! You will follow a map of a beautifully Christmas-lit route over to our Walnut Hill Church campus for lots of socially distant activities: an interactive live nativity, socially-distant visit with Santa, s’mores and hot cocoa, and supplies for each child to make and wrap four gifts for family and friends!

We pray you can join us in this new tradition on Sunday evening, December 20th from 4-6 pm (4-7 at Walnut Hill Church). Come, invite your neighbors, or sign up to serve! Go to llumc.org/ChristmasExperience for information or contact me with any questions.

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Candlelight Carols - LIVE CONCERT

December 20 from 7:00 pm
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Please join the Lovers Lane UMC Music Ministry virtually for an hour of beloved traditional Christmas music broadcast from the serene beauty of the historic Lovers Lane UMC Sanctuary. Special musical elements include a heartwarming virtual choir performance by the Lovers Lane KIDSing ensemble and appearances by Victorian Christmas carolers, special guest instrumentalists, featured vocal soloists, and our long-standing Christmas tradition of singing "Peace, Peace" and "Silent Night" by our Lovers Lane UMC Sanctuary Choir in all its virtual glory!

Viewing will be available live and then on demand through Christmas Eve. The program will include words of celebration and rejoicing from the Gospel narratives. Stoke up the fireplace, prepare a mug of hot chocolate, and enjoy one of Lovers Lane UMC's most cherished musical Christmas traditions with those you love.

Poinsettias

Order a poinsettia in honor or in memory of someone you love. Poinsettias will be displayed in the Sanctuary throughout the Christmas Season. The list of dedications will be mailed to the donors. Plants may be collected at the end of worship Sunday, Dec. 27. Additionally, there will be a drive-thru pick-up available on Sunday, Dec. 27 from 12:30-1:30 pm at the Northwest Highway Entrance (Entrance C next to the Spire).

Orders may be submitted by completing this form and mailing to the church office at:
9200 Inwood Road
Dallas, TX 75220

Or order online at  llumc.org/advent  The last day to order is Tuesday, Dec. 15. Poinsettias are $15 each and the proceeds will support the Worship Ministry. We request that payment accompany your order. Please make your check out to “LLUMC” with “Poinsettia Sale” in the memo.

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Heart of Africa and Zimbabwe Fellowship

It is Christmas time and we are excited to be in worship together this year at church in person or virtually. Our African Ministries will have three services this year for Christmas and New Year’s. On Christmas Eve, we will be combined with the Traditional Service, which will be online only. On Christmas Day, we will gather in person in the Sanctuary at 10 am for a 30-minute service of celebration. We will also have an online-only virtual service in the format of a Zoom testimonial for Heart of Africa and one for Zimbabwe Fellowship. These services will start at 9 pm and go through 12 am.

We totally understand that we should have gathered to celebrate all these events in person, but as we are all aware of the situation we are in, it is important for us all to Do No Harm, by avoiding any ways leading to spreading the deadly disease. We are looking forward to seeing you all on Zoom and listening to each other on how our Lord has been faithful to us, and also sharing the 2021 personal goals. This pandemic has taught us to be very adaptive to the fast-changing environment, and God will always lead us the right way. Remember this is the season of giving away, and make those without Peace, Love, Joy, and Hope, realize that through Christ, we have the key to unlock everything. Looking forward to seeing you all in the services planned for us. Like I always say to you, “Let’s hold on to faith, and keep on keeping on.” God bless you all.

Christmas Eve Worship

A rundown of Christmas Eve worship times with Uncle Rusty

Ending 2020 Strong

A message about end of year giving with Donna

Capital Campaign Update

We were able to take advantage of the COVID shutdown and refinish the Sanctuary floor by removing the pews and storing them on-site, saving $11,000 in transfer and off-site storage costs. Floors were sanded down to bare wood, re-stained, and re-sealed to their original luster. The stage and steps stained a contrasting color to match the recently refurbished Aeolian Skinner organ and stair treads highlighted for safety. The Sanctuary windows were beginning to allow water penetration into the building which also threatened damage to the newly renovated floors. The rusting window mullions are structural and rapidly becoming compromised. Work has begun on a 4-5 month project to remove the sealant around 1,500 individual protective glass panes; to reseal, clean, and remove 45 years of dirt and grime. The mullions and bases will be resealed and repainted inside and out with a protective seal adhered to the vertical mullions to ensure against further leakage. Our iconic stained-glass Sanctuary is on it's way to being like new again.

New Worship Series: New Normal

As we step into 2021, we all take a deep breath because 2020 was not the easiest of years for anyone. But we made it through 2020 together. We invite you to join us as we enter the New Year by turning the page of the calendar to January 2021 with our new sermon series, “New Normal.” A new year doesn’t mean that the challenges we face will all suddenly go away or that life is immediately back to normal. But this series will help us see God’s miracles all around us and figure out how to live into a “New Normal” once we recognize God’s miracles in us and for us. Let’s start the year off with a new perspective because there is always a miracle to find.

October 11 Re-opening

Charge Conference: Nov. 1

Beginning Sunday, October 11th, we will plan on reopening the campus for worship in the following ways:

8:15 am – Traditional Service: Livestream ONLY
9:00 am – Deaf Ministry Service: Livestream ONLY
9:30 am – Thrive Worship: Livestream & In-Person in the Plaza
11:00 am – Traditional Service: Livestream & In-Person in the Sanctuary
11:00 am – Crosswalk Service: Livestream & In-Person in the Plaza
11:00 am – Heart of African and Zimbabwe Fellowship: Livestream & In-Person in Shipp Chapel

Programming & Events

  • Sunday School and Small Groups will remain online through the end of the year (this will also help us to keep our campus and school clean)
  • There will be online only KIDS and Student Ministry and The Nursery will not open through the end of the year.
  • Small weddings and funerals are permitted, following social distancing guidelines already in place.

Reopening

  • Masks are required (limited supply will be available if you forget yours)
  • Maintain proper social distancing of 6ft between individuals and families
  • Sanitize your hands and avoid hugs, high fives, handshakes, and other forms of physical contact
  • We ask that you refrain from singing
  • Bring your own Bible as they will not be available in service

 

Entrance and Exit pathways for In-Person worship starting October 11th:

Thrive 9:30 am:

  1. Please park by and enter through Entrance A
  2. Greeters and Ushers will guide you to the Plaza and assist with seating
  3. After the service, exit the south side door and walk the hallway to the ramp
  4. Exit Entrance A

Crosswalk 11:00 am:

  1. Please park by and enter through Entrance C
  2. Greeters and Ushers will guide you to the Plaza and assist with seating
  3. After the service, guests exit the south side door and walk the hallway to the ramp
  4. Exit Entrance C

Traditional 11:00 am:

  1. Please park by and enter through Entrance B
  2. Greeters and Ushers will guide you to the Main Sanctuary and assist with seating
  3. After the service, exit the side door of the Sanctuary narthex
  4. Exit Entrance B

Heart of Africa & Zimbabwe 11:00 am

  1. Please park by and enter through Entrance A
  2. Greeters and Ushers will guide you to Shipp Chapel and assist with seating
  3. After the service, guests exit Entrance A
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Live Concert of Collaboration

Shepherd’s Garden Holy Communion

Please join us online for a “LIVE Concert of Collaboration,” presented by the Lovers Lane UMC Friends of Music. This concert features keyboard partnerships between Sheryl Sebo on the newly restored Aeolian-Skinner chancel pipe organ and Jimmy Emery on the Baldwin concert grand piano. Special featured guests include Christine Bouton and Victoria Ricalde of Walnut Hill Church. Music of faith ranges from the light and whimsical to the majestic and triumphant. 5:00 p.m. Sept. 13

Down by the Riverside: Have the Discussion

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This July, our sermon series is called Down By the Riverside. We will be using the old spiritual of the same name, scripture, and writing from William Sloane Coffin and Martin Luther King, Jr. to dive into what it means to be a patriotic person, how God calls us to social justice and civil liberties, and what this means for the Kingdom of God. We are putting together a panel of folks to help guide the conversation around these topics on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 7:00 pm, July 12th, and July 26th. This will be done by Zoom.

Learn about all of our panelists participating in the discussion.
Dr. Clifton Howard, Dr. Baranda Fermin, Danielle "Pockett" Brown, Rev. Macie Liptoi, and Dr. Stan Copeland

The following list of resources has been gathered from church staff and members from their own personal journeys of learning. We would welcome additions from anyone! Please contact Kay Eck at keck@llumc.org with your suggestions.

August Alleluia 2020

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Sunday, Aug. 2 at 8, 9, 10, and 11am

Garden Communion at 10am and 12pm

New Member Joining and Baptisms at 11am

Monday, Aug. 3 at 7pm

Sunday after worship at 7:00 pm we'll host a discussion on Zoom. We hope you will join the pastors in an important conversation about evangelism. The format of our time together will be part webinar and part small group discussion. We look forward to learning with you! Sign up with the button below.

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Contact Info

9200 Inwood Rd. Dallas, TX 75220

214-691-4721
info@llumc.org

Copyright 2019 Lovers Lane United Methodist Church©  All Rights Reserved

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