McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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June 5, 2014

Local youth leaders organize Community Worship Night

Expect fellowship and music

McALESTER — About six months ago, local youth pastors discussed the idea of reviving a communal worship in the McAlester area, according to Blake Taylor.

Taylor, 24, of Lakewood Christian Church and School, is one of the local youth pastors who heard of a history of communal worship in McAlester. And Taylor says many local churches have come together to organize a revival event called Community Worship Night set at Lakewood at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“We pieced this whole thing together,” said Taylor.

Taylor is a musician who came to McAlester 10 months ago from Fayetteville, Ark., with his wife and children. He is now a student minister at Lakewood.

Taylor is the frontman of the Blake Taylor band, which started a musical friendship with another band called The Ember Days back in Fayetteville three years ago.

When Taylor organized the Worship Night to have live musical performances, he found booking another band a piece of cake.

“The Ember Days said they would love to come here and launch something,” he said.

Taylor said the event will begin at 6 p.m. with refreshments and an espresso bar. At 7 p.m., Blake Taylor will begin, with The Ember Days to follow.

The Worship Night will be fellowship and music.

Don’t expect a Sunday service or any kind of liturgy, said Taylor. The main focus is community and music.

According to Taylor, local churches are trying to face the modern challenges within the Christian community.

Taylor said Christian doctrines’ differences are widely known for what they’re against and not for their shared intent to love one another.

Another youth minister, Levi Walker, 26, of Main and Oklahoma Church of Christ, said people don’t see unity among the Christian churches.

And Taylor adds the goal of this event is to address this current issue among Christians: “How can this city expect to actually see who Jesus was if we can’t even love each other?”

And thus the Worship Night’s purpose is to cultivate a unity that can grow, according to Taylor.

“The idea stems from the fact we are so divided and we can do so much more together,” Walker said.

The week following the concert, the churches are coming together again to help make the community better without individual intentions for each church, Taylor said.

He said with a list provided by Shared Blessings, Taylor, Walker and other local volunteers are going to assist residents in need of home repairs.

Walker said with about 40-60 volunteers they anticipate having four different work groups at four different work sites.

“It’s going to be a test run with a lot of hurdles,” Walker said.

He adds, they hope for the desire of other churches to join together on making the community better.

Taylor said, “This would be a catalyst for the churches in town to promote unity.

“We want to see McAlester to become a better place.”

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