Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ecumenical Multicultural Thanksgiving Worship

Last night, on the eve of Thanksgiving eve, I joined with Missouri Synod Lutherans, PC(USA) Presbyterians, and Episcopalians in the gymnasium of Immanuel Lutheran High School, Whitestone, NY for a Community Thanksgiving Worship Service. Two LCMS and Two PC(USA) Ministers led most of the liturgy with the youth of Immanuel Lutheran reading Scripture and providing some of the music. Andy read and sang. Johnson prayed. Immanuel youth (photo right) read Scripture, sang and played. Host Pastor David preached. I prayed. Mary and Julie played. An offering was collected to benefit the food pantry of the Queens Federation of Churches. The highlights for me were the teenage youth reading scripture and offering special music, and the benediction.

North Church Queens, where I serve as Designated Pastor, presently has no teenage youth. We have an age gap with three children ages six through nine, and then our next older participant is twenty-two. It has been over eight years since I have served a church with more than a teenager or two and I miss their presence, so last night’s worship was refreshing.

The benediction at last night’s Thanksgiving eve eve worship was offered by two men and two women in four languages: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hindi, and English. Serving as a Pastor in Queens certainly has its challenges, but one of the joys and benefits is the opportunity to worship in multi-cultural contexts.

The attached photo at top right was taken by an unidentified participant. Here is a link to other photos, most taken by the Reverend Dr. E. Johnson Rethinasamy, Urban Mission Strategist, LCMS World Mission.

I will not be posting to Summit to Shore tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, so I wish all readers and visitors a Happy Thanksgiving.

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