Two years ago, two sister churches met together in Fuqua Park and had a great service. The next year, they decided to do it again.

This year, for the third year, the congregations of First Christian Church and West Side Christian Church will gather once again at the gazebo in the park to join their hearts in worship.

“West Side was once our daughter church,” said the Rev. Tracy L. Wilson, pastor of First Christian, referring to the fact that West Side was once a mission of FCC. “Now, she’s our sister church.”

The gathering will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday in the park.

“It’s a cooperative effort,” said Dr. Jerry Black, pastor of West Side. “We’re both Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) and we celebrate the spirit of unity. Unity is very important to us. What better way to celebrate that spirit of unity than to meet together in the outdoors — God’s open sanctuary?”

This year, Black will give the message, “My Estate ... (My Friends).” His Scripture text will be John 15:9-17. Last year, it was Wilson’s turn to give the sermon. The first year, the two gave a dialogue.

Choirs from the two churches will combine to sing “For the Beauty of the Earth” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Director will be Kevin Zinn, and pianist will be Patty Jennings, both from First Christian. The audience will also sing several selections in a variety of music styles.

Joyce Russell of First Christian and Lois Hackler of West Side, chairmen of the Worship Ministry Team at their respective churches, are helping plan the service.

Following the service, a picnic lunch featuring fried chicken will be served. Kiddieland will be open from noon to 12:30 p.m. so the children attending can ride the rides free.

Those attending the joint service should take lawn chairs. The service is open to the entire community, the pastors said.

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