By Stan Friedman
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 2, 2012) – Four San Francisco Evangelical Covenant Church congregations will forego their individual traditional Easter worship services and will celebrate the holy day together.
The four congregations are Great Exchange San Francisco (GrX), Dolores Park Covenant Church, Life House Covenant church, which is primarily Asian American, and Iglesia del Pacto San Francisco (IDP). The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary of Dolores Park, where GrX also meets.
The building is symbolic of the coming together of old and new. It was built in 1907 following the 1906 earthquake that destroyed the old Swedish Mission Tabernacle.
Reflecting the multi-ethnic makeup of the churches, the expected gathering of 400 people will sing in English and Spanish, with audio interpretation available for Spanish-speaking individuals. A responsive element of the worship service will include English, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Swedish, and Mandarin.
Mario Romani, the pastor of IDP, and Kirk Davis, a new Covenant church planter, will share a vision for ministry in the city. Sean Curtis, pastor of Great Exchange, will preach. Also participating will be Ralph Moller, pastor of Life House, along with worship leaders and musicians from all of the churches. A joint choir will sing and the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated.
The idea for the joint worship service was born during meetings of the Golden Gate Cluster of Covenant pastors. “The more we have met together and prayed together, the more the Lord has placed on our hearts to explore how we might partner together in life, community and ministry,” says Mark Kirchgestner, pastor of Dolores Park.
The worship service is part of a new commitment to work together to expand ministry in the city, says Greg Yee, associate superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference. That work will include helping to revitalize the Hispanic church, which includes a vision to start a Mosaic Center similar to the one in Los Angeles.
Multiple options for working together are being discussed, says Kirchgestner. They will host a church group from Los Angeles that will come to San Francisco on a mission trip this summer organized through Covenant Merge Ministries.
The Los Angeles team will focus on a project to develop and restore IDP’s property as well as learning more about urban ministry in San Francisco.