This Sunday, August 15, we will have a guest preacher, as the second part of our “pulpit swap” with Christian Valley Church in Cataula. Back in June, I was invited to preach at Christian Valley as a way to introduce St. Nicholas to their congregation and vice versa. On Sunday, we will have Pastor Eric Seldon with us preaching at both services.
Our relationship with Christian Valley began over a year ago when a member of their church, Garvin Gourie, wanted to explore teaming with a predominantly white congregation in order to show unity between our churches in this county. Sunday mornings are the most segregated hours of the week in the South, and Garvin’s vision led to our conversations. We are certainly not seeking to assimilate one another, but want to establish a relationship to learn about one another, experience our differing cultures, and worship together.
In our conversations over the last year, Pastor Eric, Garvin, Graham Horne, and I have discussed doing some outreach projects together, including promoting the Ferst Foundation’s Childhood Literacy Program. Katherine Johnson and Connie Blackmon, members of St. Nicholas who are greatly involved with the literacy program, have worked with us to think about some ways we can promote this program in our congregations and join together to get children signed up for it.
Christian Valley’s choir will also be with us on Sunday to share their gift of music. We will also show them how we celebrate Eucharist, and share our gifts of music as well!
It will be a fantastic Sunday, so please come and introduce yourself to our friends from Christian Valley!