Ecumenical service seeks unity
Ecumenical service seeks unity for one human kind
CUMBERLAND — Unity was the theme of Sunday's ecumenical service at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Oldtown Road. The service was part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and to honor Martin Luther King Jr., who was mentioned in prayers and speeches during the ceremony.
A service for Martin Luther King Day will be conducted today at 5 p.m. in Metropolitan A.M. E. Church., Frederick and Decatur St.
The Rev. Alfred Deas, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, asked everyone in attendance to stand and hug someone they did not know at the beginning of his homily.
Deas said, "The same hands that are made to close around a gun, can open to hug someone." He also told the congregation there should be "unity for one human kind" and a "church should be with no boundaries and not turn anyone away, that it is open to all."
John D. McIntyre, senior pastor of Ebenezer Full Gospel Baptist Church read from Ephesians 4:1-16.
In the selection, which seemed to be the expression of the service, it read, "One Lord, one faith one baptism, One God and Father of all." This quote is also on an archway of St. Mary's near the alter.
Those attending heard three selections by the Cumberland Area Community Mass Choir with Kenny Watkins, minister of music on keyboard and Craig Taylor on percussion.
"Holy, Holy, Holy" and "There's No Way" were directed by Minister Lisa Howze and "Faith to the Lady" was directed by Debra Dozier.
An offering for the local Union Rescue Mission was also taken during the service.
The Rev. Rebecca Vardiman said, "I thought the service was wonderful. I enjoyed it. It was a nice little crowd."
"I thought it was great," said William Williams. "It is good when members of the community and different fellowships get together. It is good to know everyone can get together and talk about Jesus and no particular religion is offended."
Lisa Tillery who also attended, said, "I thought it was real good, but I am disappointed there was not more people here."
She added, "I think people should come together no matter what skin color or religious beliefs."
Williams agreed, "We don't get together as much as we should. We could do it more."
Tillery said that her favorite part of the service was when people were asked to share with the congregation their words of prayer.
The community choir was Williams' favorite part. "They sounded very nice. I want to talk to Kenny Watkins about becoming a member."
Text -Vicki Walker, photo - John Bone, Cumberland Times-News
Photo - Clergy from various area churches listen as the Rev. Alfred Deas of Metropolitan A.M.E. Church delivers a message on unity during the "I Have a Dream" service of prayer for Christian unity on Sunday afternoon at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Oldtown Road in Cumberland.
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008