Congregations Join for Monthly Multicultural Worship

Post a Comment » Written on April 9th, 2008     
Filed under: News
BROOKLYN CENTER, MN (April 9, 2008)—A conversation between two students taking a missions class at Bethel University has led to a multicultural worship service that is now entering its fourth month.

Meredith Nyberg, a member of Brookdale Covenant Church, and William Kallon, pastor of Pilgrim Hall of Praise, a Liberian Congregation, were discussing the difficulty of bringing people of different groups together for worship. They broached the idea of a combined worship service.

“It just seemed to have a spark to it,” says Nyberg.

The first service was held in January and drew participations from members of Brookdale and Pilgrim Hall of Praise as well as Sanctuary Covenant Church and the Lao Covenant Church, which meets at Brookdale. The services are celebrated from 6 to 8 p.m. on the second Sunday of the month. They are held at Brookdale because the Liberian congregation meets at a school that has limited availability.

Nyberg says she understand that people want to worship in their own congregations in ways that are familiar, but she adds that the combined services also are important. “The unity of believers is a witness to the world.”

The overarching theme for the services comes from John 17:20-23: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (TNIV).

Elements of the different cultures are woven into the service. The Laotian church presented special music and dance during the first gathering, and Kallon preached the sermon. A choir from the multiethnic Sanctuary church sang during the February service. The sermon is followed by a time when worshipers ask questions that help attendees better understand each other’s cultures as well as the sermon.

For more information, contact Brookdale by calling 763-535-6305.

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