For five Christian Reformed congregations in Oregon, celebrating the Reformation meant embracing their differences while remembering what makes them the same.
Approximately 125 people from Sunnyslope CRC in Salem, Oak Hills CRC and Zion CRC, both of Beaverton, Parklane CRC in Portland, and Sunrise CRC of McMinnville gathered for a light supper followed by a time of worship on October 27 in the newly remodeled Sunrise CRC.
Pastor Bill Wilton of Sunrise CRC delivered the message. “Jesus’ word to Ephesus was that reformation is not a choice,” he said. “We will conform to his will and shine or our lampstand will be removed.”
Members of the various churches led worship, including the praise band from Sunrise and the choir from Zion CRC, a Korean congregation, leading the singing of “Holy, Holy, Holy” in both Korean and English. “I liked the mix of music and the different pastors participating,” said Dwaina Worledge, member of Sunrise CRC.
The Oregon churches have been celebrating the Reformation together with a joint worship service for over 25 years. Carl Leep, pastor of Oak Hills CRC said, “The great singing and Communion service is always a highlight. Beneath it all stands the biblically Reformed faith with its rich themes of God’s sovereignty and grace in redeeming his people and so all of creation.”
Sunrise CRC was chosen as this year’s location because it was the recipient of a renewal grant given by Classis Columbia, the regional group of churches. The grant allowed it to make the building accessible for those with disabilities and upgrade classrooms.
Vance Hays, pastor of Parklane CRC said, “We are a bunch of small churches within our classis. We really need each other.”