Reconcile Dallas Worship Service
Christians throughout Dallas came together in worship, prayer and fellowship in a recent unifying service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral that is part of a long-term, ecumenical collaboration of church leaders to bring reconciliation to the city.
The worship service was a pre-curser to a project called Samaritan’s Feet: Reconcile Dallas, where volunteers from Dallas-area churches across decominations will wash the feet of children and provide them with a new pair of shoes. The group, which includes many Episcopalians, has raised $40,000 to purchase shoes for more than 2,000 children. The event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., October 21, at St. Philip’s School, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Dallas.
Sunday night, more than 100 people attended the unity service from a variety of churches and denominations. During the service people were asked to find two people they did not know and pray for each other, and then sit together during the remainder of the service. During the event, an artist created a unity painting with hands open in outreach and love, as a symbolic illustration for bringing people together. Three different speakers brought messages of love and reconciliation in the city, in the nation and in the world.
The Rt. Rev. George Sumner spoke about how the importance of peace and reconciliation were known by everyone present, but not to everyone outside the faith. “You and I are involved in a war, says the New Testament, against lots of things, against our own fear, against prejudice, against wounds that make people inflict wounds on others, against structures that are unfair, against all things within in us that make us resist or evade what God is really calling us to, as one,” Sumner said. “As Christians, we are called to be hopeful realists, we need to grow together and teach each other about all the dimensions of the “not yets” of the world and city that we share.”
The Rev. Dr. Samira Izadi Page, who operates Gateway of Grace ministry, spoke about two refugee children with serious health issues that needed expert healthcare. When Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who is from Nigeria was visiting in Dallas, he had heard about the children and asked to pray over them. “So we had a bishop from Africa, me a woman from Iran, Anglo volunteers, a family from Iraq and we prayed,” Page said. “You could feel the presence of the Spirit. Things happen when people from different races, different backgrounds, different nationalities come together and serve together. Something about when God’s people come together, the glory of God shows up - miracles happen.” The children are both getting the care they need from Dallas doctors.
The Rev. Kwesi R. Kamau, Lead Pastor of Impact Church said serving the most vulnerable will bring the city together in love and compassion. “This is about sitting in front of a child and asking, 'what is your name? What is your dream?' and telling that child that God has sent us to serve you, then taking off their shoes, washing their feet and putting new shoes on their feet. It's transforming for you and for the child,” Kamau said. “It will give us a new understanding of humanity, and bring people together from different factions, races, geography and religion. We need to be united but not in some kind of general, surface way, but at the feet of those who are most vulnerable. It’s going to be powerful.”
If you would like to volunteer to wash feet this Saturday, please contact Deacon for Outreach and Social Justice Mark Hall, .