Over 1,100 worshipers from eight churches in the Hamilton, Mich., area—including three Christian Reformed congregations—gathered on February 19 for a combined worship service concluding a six-week joint sermon series.
Members from eight churches worshiping together.
Courtesy of the Holland Sentinel
The series, “There’s an App for That . . . in the Bible,” focused on the power of God’s Word to transform lives and included such weekly themes as “trials and suffering” and “forgiveness.”
Pastors from Overisel CRC, Hamilton CRC, East Saugatuck CRC, and five other churches from three denominations preached on each week’s joint theme and Bible passage. In week three, the pastors participated in a pulpit exchange, each preaching at one of the other churches.
Last year, five Hamilton churches participated in the area’s first joint sermon series, inspired by one in nearby Zeeland.
To prepare for this year’s series, the pastors met every other week throughout the fall. “It’s been really terrific working together,” said John Byker, pastor of Hamilton CRC. “The highlight for all of us is our final morning worship and communion together.”
Kirk Vander Molen, who coordinated the series, said, “This has fostered understanding, increased levels of trust and appreciation for each other. The pastors have really come to care about and support one another.” Vander Molen is the executive director of the Hamilton-area affiliate of Love INC (Love In the Name of Christ), a nonprofit organization that helps churches work together to address needs in their communities.
The purpose of the series was to help churches experience and show unity and build community, according to Vander Molen. “A stronger, unified church internally will lead to a stronger, unified witness out in the community,” he said.