City churches will gather for fellowship
It's been almost 17 years since First Christian Church, Boulevard Congregational and Christian Church and Liberty Heights Christian Church got together for a day of fellowship.
It was a longstanding tradition of the three Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) churches to get together for potlucks, worship, combined communion services and other events. But the gatherings phased out in the '90s due to staff changes and decline in attendance at the three respective churches.
The churches' current pastors decided it was time to bring the get-togethers back.
Starting at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at First Christian Church, 701 SW D, the three churches and respective congregations will join together for an afternoon potluck, worship and shared communion, dubbed "One Church, Three Communities." Donations of diapers, laundry soap and zipper bags will be collected for Family Promise of Lawton.
Ralph Alexander, minister at Boulevard Congregational and Christian Church, hopes the event will encourage the three churches to get together every fifth Sunday from here on out. And the Rev. Chuck Pettigrew of Liberty Heights Christian Church hopes the event will show how diverse and inclusive the Disciples of Christ churches are.
"There is a lot of diversity in our approach to ministry between the three of our churches," Pettigrew said. "And if we can send that message, that would be cool. Lots of diversity, lots of inclusiveness is all part of the Disciples' tradition."
According to Brandon Johnson, pastor of First Christian Church, the motto of the Disciples of Christ, as stated by the Rev. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Disciples of Christ of the United States and Canada, is "a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world."
"That would be my hope that between our three congregations we can embody that movement towards wholeness," Johnson said.