Three sister churches in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest got together and worshiped under one roof on May 21 to celebrate Ascension Sunday. Immanuel Anglican, Trinity Anglican, and Cornerstone Anglican came together as three Anglican parishes in Chicago to plan not only one giant worship service but also a picnic on Lake Michigan afterwards.
Everything was a a work of collaboration: from the three Rectors who shared the leadership of the service, to the worship music which was chosen based on what each congregation was familiar with, down even to who greeted you at the door. The sense of unity was very clear, and many commented on how singing together in worship was such a powerful experience, knowing everyone was praising God together.
After the service, everyone walked down to a park on Lake Michigan to enjoy the picnic, and we could not have been blessed with better weather. The enjoyment and excitement from the service carried over into the picnic as well: everyone was happy to spend time together. So many people attended that volunteers had to run and get more food several times.
Ascension Sunday gave our parishes a vision for future collaborative services, and we already have a joint worship night planned for the end of September.