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Two Harrisburg churches unite for joint Pentecost service

  • Father Timothy Goodman, left, and interim pastor, the Rev. Dan Whitfield, led the joint Pentecost service.

    Father Timothy Goodman, left, and interim pastor, the Rev. Dan Whitfield, led the joint Pentecost service.
    Courtesy of the Rev. Dan Whitfield

 
updated: 6/16/2017 11:21 AM

St. Stephens Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church, both in Harrisburg, celebrated the Day of Pentecost on Sunday, June 4, in a joint service at the Presbyterian church.

Father Timothy Goodman, pastor of St. Stephens, preached the sermon, the Rev. Dan Whitfield led the worship, and both served Holy Communion to the combined congregations.

The two churches broke new ground with their first joint worship service earlier this year at St. Stephens Church in the old library building on Church Street. The host churches supplied refreshments at their respective locations for a time of conversation and fellowship.

After the two pastors became acquainted socially and professionally, Whitfield, the interim pastor, said it became obvious that the two churches have much more in common than not.

"Both are liturgical in worship style, ecumenical in outlook, theologically similar, and both have a strong concern for social justice," he said.

It was felt that the coming together of the two churches made a strong ecumenical statement of Christian unity in a time of otherwise great divisiveness.

"Besides, it just felt right that the two sister churches should be in worship and ministry together," Whitfield added.