Pastors pray for city-wide reconciliation
AURORA -- They came from both sides of the city and were from all walks of life.
The roughly 250 people who filled First Presbyterian Church's Harkness Center, sang, danced, and prayed together. Though they were strangers, they hugged one another with arms of all shades.
For two hours, a fraction of Aurora came together for one cause -- Jesus Christ.
Worshippers from more than 20 area churches gathered for the rare chance to step out of their parishes and put their beliefs into action.
As Pastor Randy Schoof of Warehouse Church explains, that one belief all followers of God believe in is to love and respect one another, regardless of faith, race, or language.
"We want the people of the city of Aurora to know that God's people love one another," said Schoof, who also organized the 3rd annual Celebrate Jesus Together city-wide worship.
And love was definitely spread. Traditionally, the service featuring gospel choirs and a Hispanic worship band is held at McCarty Park. Although the severe rain pushed the event indoors, the smaller venue was intimate. Pastors from nearly every major church in Aurora were present, and nine pastors offered prayers of peace and unity for Aurora's residents.
Another prayer was made for elected officials. Worshippers created a circle around State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez and Kane County Board member Donnell Collins, among others.
"They need us as much as we need them. As we get behind them, Lord give them the wisdom and spirit to move forward," Pastor Pat McManus announced as the circle grew tighter.
And when Pastor Jeff Moore of First Presbyterian stated a confession from all church leaders, a moving display ensued.
"We have failed to grow in faith, and we lack reliance on Jesus Christ as we try to lead this group of followers," he began. "We have made the assumption that we are closer to the Lord than we really are."
Out of the crowds, a man approached the stage and slowly fell to his knees and bowed. A pastor followed him. And then a group five others knelt.
Soon enough, about 25 pastors were on their knees pledging to renew their commitment to the church, the city and the Lord.
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