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Come Together

One of the nicest things to come from our worshiping at Overland Park Lutheran Church (OPLC) is the collaboration. We have been able to combine worship with another Lutheran church, and sometimes we have two Lutheran churches (Salem and OPLC) and a Presbyterian church. It is nice to see the differences not only between our church and the Presbyterian church, but also between us and another Lutheran church.

One of the best examples of us all worshiping together was during Holy Week. All three congregations combined for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and Salem combined with OPLC for two Easter services. All three congregations combined for Easter breakfast and an egg hunt.

We were able to continue Salem’s Maundy Thursday tradition of First Communion and hand/foot washing. We even were able to include someone from OPLC for First Communion this year. The images of all three pastors leading the service alongside each other are poignant. It is equally moving to see people from all three congregations washing each other’s feet and hands. It didn’t matter which church you attend; we all worshiped together as one congregation that night.

For Good Friday, we continued Salem’s tradition of a beautiful Tenebrae. This year we enjoyed our beautiful cross along with the dissolvable paper tradition from OPLC. Candles were lit, and we could write a burden, regret, or sin on a piece of paper, bring it to the font, and dissolve it in water. Our sins were literally washed away. People from all congregations participated in both traditions together, along with prayer from all three pastors.

This was such a beautiful example of Hebrews 10:10: “Our sins are washed away and we are made clean because Christ gave His own body as a gift to God. He did this once for all time.” (NLV) This is the meaning of Good Friday. Our sins were washed away and Jesus died for us.

The people of Salem came together with those of OPLC to worship on Easter morning.
More than 60 were in attendance at the traditional service, and more than 180 came to the contemporary service! All three congregations combined for breakfast and an Easter egg hunt. It truly was a glorious morning!

We continue to work together with our brothers and sisters from the other congregations each month with events from the Creation Care Team (Spring Stream Clean is coming up this Sunday, as well as many events throughout April) and will combine for a joint VBS in June.

We all come together in God’s kingdom to do His work, no matter our background or beliefs. Our congregations’ collaborations are proof of that.

Shari Van Baale
Salem Communications Coordinator

Tags: Weekly Word