Two Churches, One Mission

Post a Comment » Written on May 15th, 2013     
Filed under: Featured Churches, Hope Sunday, News & Updates
Written by Adam Phillips, project consultant

BCCI’ve preached at multiple services before. Typically it’s two services back to back, broken up with a coffee hour or Sunday School session. There was even the odd church a few years ago that asked after the second service, “Are you all set to go for our third, evening service tonight?” (news to me there were three!). But I’ve never preached at two separate churches on one Sunday.

Last month I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of two Hope Sunday services in Bellingham, Washington – the morning service at Bellingham Covenant Church and the evening service at the recently planted Lettered Streets Covenant Church. It was amazing to see God working in both very unique contexts, stirring up Covenanters young, old, and totally new to the denomination as they stand together with our sisters and brothers in Congo.

The morning service at Bellingham Covenant Church (one of the Covenant’s earliest planted congregations) was filled with a vitality in song, word, witness, and art that was an incredible way to start off the day. Pastor Dan Boehlje played a critical role, organizing a wonderful team of volunteers ready to enlist some 70+ child sponsorships, with lead pastor Paul Petersen closing the service with an impassioned plea for long term commitment alongside the Congolese church. What pulled together the entire Hope event for me was youth pastor Jeff Grosskopf’s incredible worship arts installation. Look for a post from him in coming days describing his creative process.

LetteredStreetsAfter a great lunch with BCCers and a short break, I headed over to Lettered Streets Covenant Church and participated in the church’s weekly evening service, followed by their community meal. Set in an historic neighborhood church building and pastored by Chris Eltrich, Lettered Streets is full of vibrant younger families continuing traditions like hymn singing, weekly communion, and table fellowship. Lettered Streets has a deep commitment to children, as evidenced by the two or three who encouraged me during my sermon by walking up the center aisle and greeting me. We closed out the evening with a truly authentic Congolese style meal.

I left Bellingham thankful for the creativity, hospitality and above all, deep commitment to our Congolese friends nearly 9,000 miles away.

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