It is Thursday night at the General Assembly, Second Cumberland Presbyterian and Cumberland Presbyterian assemblies are worshiping together.
As we gather, we visit with each other before the prelude. A deep sense of communion develops. Christ is one with us and we with each other. A dimension that is not of this world pervades the assemblies as the organ prelude begins, climaxing a day of mingling and sharing with friends.
I think of the millions in cities and the countryside who are alone. They are not a part of this kind of unity and community. How I wish they were!
I find myself wondering how Clark Williamson, who worked so hard developing camping and Christian Education programs in our two churches, would feel if he were here. He died in 1949, but only after leading in many moves to bring our peoples together.
We are singing "The Church's One Foundation." I am touched by the phrase, "One Lord, one faith, one birth." The choir of singers from both churches leads us. Clark again joins me in "mystic sweet communion." I think of what he wrote years ago:
"I want to hear happy voices of Negro youth and white, sharing their lives in normal, cultural intercourse in all sections of America, particularly in my Southland, thus building up both races in richer thinking."
I am now listening to a black preacher, Dr. Carl Marbury of Stillman College. He stirs me, and I wonder what on earth people mean when they say we cannot worship together! I think "I am going to hear more black preachers. I am hungry for the gospel preached vividly with power and excitement."
As we ratified that evening the Confession of Faith we had made together and took the Lord's Supper, we dropped a pebble of unity into the ocean of life. Maybe its waves will lap against other shores as they wash ours cleaner. (Sept. 1., 1984)