Clergy prays together

Clergy from area churches had a chance to come together Thursday for a time of worship with each other.

Several pastors received an invitation to attend a special service of Christian Unity during the Thursday afternoon vespers service at the Friendship Haven Celebration Center.

The Lord’s Prayer-themed worship service led by the Rev. Anita Johnson, director of spiritual care at Friendship Haven, focused on how the prayer, although said in many different ways by different denominations, unites all Christians.

“It is a prayer that can comfort those who have lost something,” said Johnson in her sermon. “It is something we learn at a young age and it stays with us forever. Sometimes even those who cannot articulate for themselves can still say the Lord’s Prayer.”

During the service Johnson shared how the prayer’s words can be found in different books of the Bible and how the different denominations might recite the prayer.

“It is everyone’s prayer,” said Johnson. “It is an idea of Christian unity and fellowship between different denominations. The prayer can have slightly different words, but all the same meaning. We all need redemption; we are children of the same God and the same spirit. Let us be the Lord’s Prayer in action for the world.”

Each participating pastor, including the Rev. Barbara Huisman, of Cana; the Rev. Matthew Martens, of Grace Lutheran; the Rev. Alan Redenius, of First Covenant; and the Rev. Joe Feldmann, of First Congregational United Church of Christ, said a prayer for their congregations.

Johnson said many Friendship Haven residents attend the vespers services on Thursdays and worship services on Sundays, but they also represent many different churches.

“It is nice for the residents to have an opportunity to see their own pastor here sometimes,”she said.