The Church of the Brethren’s annual Cross Cultural Consultation and Celebration will be coming to Lancaster, Pa., the first weekend in May. Some 150 Church of the Brethren members from across the United States and Puerto Rico are expected to attend the event May 4-7 at Lancaster Church of the Brethren.
The cross cultural worship services are expected to draw up to 300 people.
The event focuses on building relationships across ethnic and cultural lines in the Church of the Brethren denomination, with Brethren leaders coming from various ethnic and cultural traditions including African-American, Haitian, Mexican, Anglo, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Korean, and Indian. This is the eighth such event for the church.
Plenary sessions will focus on the theme “Built Together: The Household of God” from Ephesians 2:17-22. Two subthemes will guide discussion: overcoming racism in the church, and service and outreach in the spirit of cooperation. The weekend also will include worship, workshops, small group discussions, and prayer and Bible study groups.
Special events include a first-ever meeting for Church of the Brethren youth to gather to talk about cross-cultural issues on Saturday May 6. That morning youth will lead the full group in worship. A work project also is tentatively planned for that afternoon.
Vibrant and energetic worship services will be held each day, featuring music of a variety of cultures, scripture reading in several different languages, and preaching by Brethren ministers representing different ethnic groups. All of the services will take place at Lancaster Church of the Brethren and are open to the Lancaster community and surrounding Church of the Brethren congregations.
The worship service at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, will feature the Bittersweet Gospel Band from Los Angeles, Calif., led by pastor Gilbert Romero Jr. of Bella Vista Church of the Brethren. Testimonials and sharing will be given in place of a formal message.
On Friday, May 5, the service at 7 p.m. will feature a message from Dr. Ken Quick, chairman of the Pastoral Theology Department and director of the Ministry Leadership Program at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Md., and assistant pastor at Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, Md. He will speak from his experience as a specialist in the corporate healing of hurting churches, which he calls “Church Cardiology.” The service also will include bread and cup Communion.
On Saturday, May 6, the speaker for the 7 p.m. service will be Larry Brumfield, interim pastor at Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren and a member at Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren.
On Sunday morning May 7, participants in the consultation will join with the Lancaster congregation in its regularly scheduled worship services.
Sponsoring the event is the Cross Cultural Ministries Team of the Church of the Brethren General Board. Duane Grady, a member of the General Board’s Congregational Life Teams, serves as staff for the consultation. For more information contact him at 800-505-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.