There has been a lot of talk about unity in our church recently — on the local church level, and no less in the unions and divisions. When it comes to unity, one question is: Are we united in our mission? This is a big question for me as a district pastor. A little over a year ago, I was placed in the Racine District, which encompasses the southeastern corner of the state of Wisconsin, right between the urban giants of Milwaukee and Chicago.
Three of our churches are located in the cities of Racine and Kenosha, sizable and diverse urban centers in their own rights. The Raymond Church, about twelve miles west of Racine, has its own notable ethnic history and has the church board minutes in Danish to prove it. Historically, these are very different and diverse churches, yet we are all called to unity in mission, and that is something we’ve been striving for.
A few weeks back, we had the opportunity to bring everyone together under one roof for a district-wide communion service at the Racine Church. For the occasion, we brought in special musical guests, the Nabong Family, to lead spirited hymn singing throughout the service. During the ordinance of humility, kids were treated to a children’s story and activity in the Cradle Roll room. After the service, there was an outdoor potluck picnic, followed by an animated Bible team challenge. It wasn’t until 4:30 p.m. that the last of the remnant left the church that day: a successful Sabbath fellowship indeed.
We’ve also recently come together in our district to serve meals to the homeless, deliver free dental care and health screenings to those who cannot afford them, and we even have a weekly Friday evening district-wide vespers where we all worship together on a more regular basis.
While we worship separately most Sabbaths, through activities like the ones mentioned above, we have been able to foster a sense of unity. These are still very different churches that are serving very different communities, but their mission is the same. Unity has a lot less to do with everyone looking the same and conforming to the exact same ideas and more to do with uniting for the purpose of the same mission and under the banner of the same Jesus. May He come soon and unite us with Himself and each other for good.
Photo credit: Joshua Pedroza