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Community Worship Night preaches unity

The Rev. George Perry of St. Frederick’s Baptist Church

The Rev. George Perry of St. Frederick’s Baptist Church in Marble Falls preached about community unity despite economic, religious, and cultural differences during the second Community Worship Night sponsored by the Highland Lakes Crisis Network. The event was held April 29 at Haley-Nelson Park in Burnet. Staff photo by Mac McClennahan

About 500 people converged on Haley-Nelson Park in Burnet for Community Worship Night on April 29, bringing together pastors, music, and food from 25 area churches. The event was sponsored by the Highland Lakes Crisis Network, which hopes to hold similar events at least quarterly. The first such event was held in Granite Shoals last July. 

“God shows up in some powerful ways,” Crisis Network President Kevin Naumann said after the event. “Just to see 25 churches come together to work on an event is big. To know we live in a place where God is working in our community, I think that’s impactful.”

The countywide event was not about the Crisis Network but the  churches working together across denominations, Naumann continued. Everything, including the music, the messages, and the food were intentionally planned to be inclusive. Served along with the standard hot dogs and hamburgers were foods from Jamaica, Mexico, and the Philippines.

“The food was a celebration of our diversity and unity,” said Jon Weems,  lead pastor at Lake Shores Church in Marble Falls. “We had desserts from all over, snow cones, and bounce houses for the kids. The kids had a blast.” 

One of 12 speakers over the more than three-hour event, Weems focused his remarks on John 17 and the body of Christ. 

“The overall theme was unity,” Weems said. “Each of us is an individual, each church is different. Together, we serve a purpose to build up the body of Christ, his church in our community and in our country.” 

George Perry, pastor of St. Frederick’s Baptist Church in Marble Falls, talked about bringing each individual’s circle together to make a bigger circle of community. 

“We tend to get into our little circles and don’t know what’s going on in somebody else’s life,” he said. “We get in our own little towns and churches, and we tend to stay there. But during this event, we crossed all those lines — the city lines, our church lines, income, color — and we came together as one.” 

Although a date has not yet been set, the next community worship service most likely will be in late August or September. 

“Somewhere with shade,” Naumann said. 

When finalized, the date will be posted on the Highland Lakes Crisis Network’s Facebook page. Naumann urged anyone interested to “like” the page so they will receive notifications about the date as soon as it is set. 

“I thought it was pretty special,” Weems said of the most recent event. “It was a beautiful night, the music was incredible, there was a great crowd. We’re going to do it again.” 

suzanne@thepicayune.com