May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus’ attitude. That way you can glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ together with one voice. - Romans 15: 5-6
Well here we are! Six months have gone by since we launched our ONE Worship Services. On the first Sunday of each month we gather together for ONE Worship service followed by a meal. No matter if we are 9 am people or 11:15 am people; no matter if we are traditional or contemporary worshipers; no matter if we are English Speakers or Spanish Speakers; on this first Sunday of every month we are reminded that we all are a vital part of Grace Lutheran Church. Together, united by the Spirit and bound together in our Baptism we are ONE.
You may recall that the name for our service comes from a U2 song. We celebrated our U2charist as our second ONE service; that was a pretty incredible time! As U2’s song One goes, “we’re one, but we’re not the same, we get to carry each other.” There’s some solid theology there! We’re one, but we’re also unique. We get to carry each other; its not a have to or a must; its an invitation into the gracious life of Jesus when we get to join him in helping to carry one another along through life.
We’ve been able to really celebrate our diverse oneness through these ONE Worship Services just as we’ve been able to shine a light on our carrying of one another. Just think, in our ONE Worship service we’ve given thanks to God for the ministry of Pastor Alfredo as we’ve sent him out to serve in the Synod. 18 years ago he and his congregation came looking for a place to worship. Over the course of those 18 years; through his faithful leadership, the hard work of so many here, and the outpouring of the Spirit, the bonds of unity formed and two congregations, one Lutheran the other Baptist, one English Speaking to other Spanish Speaking became one congregation! And that vibrant ministry continues today!
Thank you for being one with us. Thank you for coming to worship, for coming to sing and pray. Thank you for the fellowship and for the gifts that you have given to Grace Lutheran Church, to Lutheran Services of the Carolinas and their Be the Light Campaign, to ELCA World Hunger making us one of their most generous givers in the ELCA! Thank you for sending staff and campers to Lutheridge and missionaries to Spark Dwell and to our Friends at Living Waters. Thank you for welcoming new members! Just six months and we’ve done all that! Now just imagine all our worship services being as full as our ONE Worship Service…If we’ve done all of this in just six months I bet we can do it!