Jim Dunkin: 2016 Unity Service a success
Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2016
I would like to thank the Eight “Downtown” churches of Salisbury for joining together in planning an amazing 2016 Unity Service on Sunday evening, February 28. I’m grateful to the downtown congregations who participated: First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Soldiers Memorial AME Zion Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. I am also grateful to all the additional churches who came together for a wonderful unifying time of worship. The joint choir, the joint bell choir, the joint instrumentalists produced such a wondrous message for all who attended. And speaking of ‘message’ the Rev. Timothy Bates had a wonderful sermon that touched and challenged the hearts of all who were present: “Teach Love, Change Your Heart!” I am grateful to the Ruling Elders of First Presbyterian Church who opened our doors to the community, and to all the officers and others who shared hospitality with everyone Sunday night.
Our hope is that we were able to be close to Jesus’ significant prayer for those who followed him in John 17: “I pray for those who will believe in me because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are—I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me. (vv.20-23, The MSG)
We live in a time when there is so much division among us. But can you imagine if we in Salisbury could become one heart and mind, mature in our oneness and showering our community with the love God has given to all of us? May the Unity Service become a visible expression of our desire to shower all with God’s love. O God, may it be so!
Dr. Jim C. Dunkin,
First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury