Almost 30 years ago Marcy Luedtke of First Henderson UMC, in Nevada, felt a call to use her significant gifts as a pianist to minister to the residents of a local nursing home. She invited some other church members to join her and thus began the rich history of a passionate group called the Luv Bugs.
For almost 30 uninterrupted years a group of talented (not a requirement) and enthusiastic church members has spread love, joy, and God’s word to various seniors’ living centers in their area at least twice a month.
Marcy, now in her 90’s, and older than many of the residents she plays for, is still going strong. And although many of the loyal members have ‘stepped into Heaven’, there is never a lack of ‘new blood’ to carry on this important work. In almost 30 years, there have been only a few times that the events have been canceled due to participation.
Averaging 8 ‘ministers’ each time, the program begins with wonderful old hymns, a devotion, motion songs to encourage exercise and movement, and ends with the joy of other old songs that are memories of younger times. In recent years musical instruments have been added, which encourages participation by even those who don’t sing. A recent grant from the United Methodist Foundation of Southern Nevada allowed the Luv Bugs to purchase additional rhythm instruments, produce new song books (they have 3 for various seasons), add a speaker system, and consider some electronic applications that would allow for an expanded repertoire.
The ministry currently serves the Bee Hive residential center in Henderson where 19-26 residents look forward to the Luv Bugs visits.
Facility owner Kristen remarks that everyone looks forward to Luv Bug days. And that relationships have formed over time. The Luv Bugs always notice if someone is missing, and honor memories of those who pass on. The energy they bring is healing and joy-filled.
Our senior members continue to inspire us with their commitment to serving God their whole lives. Marcy is a passionate servant and joyful example of His love in action. First Henderson UMC is making a difference in the lives of so many (including its volunteers) with the Luv Bugs music!