April 25, 2014

Doors Closed at 40 Area Churches, Members Enjoy Collaborative Worship, Training, Outreach

More than 40 Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Potomac Conference agreed to close their doors on April 12 to
participate in The One Event. The event, which drew 2,000
attendees, included a worship service and community project and training
sessions, which covered topics such as reaching the millennial generation, improving
member involvement, and giving Bible studies.

“Each month, Potomac’s pastors in Northern Virginia get together
for leadership development, encouragement, fellowship, accountability, and
dreaming,” said Rick Jordan, pastor of the Woodbridge church. “One of our
dreams was to come together, as one, for a joint worship service and
fellowship. We don’t want language, culture, or our buildings dividing us,
so we planned the worship service to celebrate our diversity.”

To break down some of the barriers at the event, worship songs
were sung in both English and Spanish. Kofi Antwi-Adarkwah, pastor of the First
NOVA Ghanaian church, gave the Scripture reading in his native
language. Pastor Jimmy Munoz from the Seabrook church translated speaker
Barry Black’s sermon into Spanish. Black is currently serving as the chaplain
for the U.S. Senate.

In the development stage, Jordan said outreach training for members
became an element the pastors wanted to highlight. However, they felt training
wasn’t enough and an outreach program should be organized. They decided to use
a free concert as their platform.

“We were able to bring in Josh Wilson, a popular Christian
artist, and partnered with WGTS 91.9 FM, a local radio station operating out of
Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland,” explained Jordan. People were also encouraged to
bring non-perishable food items to give to a local food bank. We were able to
collect more than 8,000 pounds of food.”

The history of the location added to the magnitude of the event.
Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Virginia, has hosted thousands
of events and contemporary Christian music artists, including artists
such as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, Casting Crowns and
well-known speakers such as T.D. Jakes, John Bevere, and Rick Warren.

“The event was a huge success. People have been asking when we
will be doing another one and why haven’t we done this before!” exclaimed
Jordan. “We had more than 2,000 people from all over Northern Virginia come
together to worship, celebrate, and train, and we were blessed to have more
than 1,500 people from the community attend the Josh Wilson concert. It goes to
show how much we can accomplish when we all come together in the name of the
Lord. We will see where the Lord leads us next!”