Reaching out – and about – by local churches

By Brandon HENSLEY

Last Sunday, several churches in La Crescenta took an “outside the box” approach to worship. Or, at least an outside the church approach.
Leaders and members of
La Crescenta Presbyterian, St Luke’s Anglican, First Baptist Church of La Crescenta and Newsong Church participated in “Lift Up La Crescenta,” a day designed to join others and pray for just about anything.
“The great blessing is churches from different parts of the Body of Christ coming together in prayer,” said Father Robert Holman of St. Luke’s.
There were more than 120 participants, said Al Nunez of La Crescenta Presbyterian, who also coordinated the event. People gathered at nine different stations throughout the town and prayed for about 15 minutes starting at 2:15 p.m. Afterward, they were encouraged to meet at La Crescenta Presbyterian for a “pray off,” where more praying took place followed with refreshments.
“It is just nice to see that intermingling, if you will, of the different churches, which there’s so little of that in our church society,” Nunez said.
Before its start, the pastors from each church opened with a prayer of their own, including prayer for spiritual power and protection. Given the obstacles Crescenta Valley has experienced recently, everyone was encouraged to keep hardships in mind.
“We’ve been through a lot in this community with the fires, and the floods and…the economy and all of those things, so we came together,” Holman said.
The long-term goal, according to Nunez, would be to eventually form a giant prayer circle encompassing the town. Nunez speculated that might take around 6,000 people. This time,“You could say we only formed a spiritual circle,” Nunez said.
But the churches are thinking about the big picture. “It was a great first-time thing,” Holman said. “I think our problem is our expectations aren’t high enough. We’re talking about doing it next year and I think we need to do it sooner than that.”
According to Holman, sooner means maybe once a month. “If we promote it and do it properly I think we’ll get a lot more churches participating,” he said.
Another prayer circle is scheduled for May 1 next year, but Nunez acknowledged the enthusiasm for more dates, so it’s a possibility, given the success of this one.
“It was just a nice quiet time to be there and pray and just be silent, and pray for our community. It was a pretty powerful moment,” Nunez said.

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