I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. ~John 17:21, the priestly prayer of Christ
This past Sunday, June 10th, was our last worship service at Jefferson Middle School. We are grateful for how wonderful the staff there has been to us and as well, for the hospitality of the DC Public Schools. When we began looking for an interim worship space two years ago, we were turned away by institutions with whom we have a shared history in this community; declined because they feared opening their doors to a religious community; declined because they feared children in their building; but Jefferson opened its doors to us. Thank you! We wish the school all the best as it renovates its historic space.
In our eighteen months, we have kept together and supported one another. We gave away $125,000 to about forty groups locally, nationally and internationally who help to heal the world and work for justice. And needless to say, we have kept caring about each other and our community. And with joy in our hearts, we watched as the steel frame to our church finally rose out of the ground. We are almost there…but not quite.
Beginning June 17th, our place of worship and our time of worship will change. We will share not only space but we will share in worship with Westminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I St., SW. We will worship at 11 a.m. And we will do this until we move into our new church building sometime in early November. Again, we are grateful for the generosity and hospitality of our friends at Westminster. They didn’t have to open their doors to us but they have and not only opened them, but with a generous spirit have invited us in. Our choir will continue to rehearse on Thursday evenings 6:30-8:30 but at Westminster (where we will join up with Kevin Twine and singers from Westminster). The pastors and some interns and associates will rotate preaching duties. We will share communion together. WOW. I tried to anticipate as much as I could the various challenges and opportunities we would have but honestly had no idea that perhaps the most significant lesson we would learn in our wilderness interim journey is the ecumenical truth that in Christ, we are one. We are not only going to embrace that intellectually, we are going to experience it.
I urge you to adjust to this new situation and not forsake assembling together. I urge all of us to joyfully step into this moment and prepare to be strengthened and renewed as we make new friends and deepen friendship with our fellow travelers at Westminster. ~See You Sunday