Sunday, April 1, 2012

Churches to mark Holy Week with shared celebrations

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-

Holy Week begins on Sunday with area churches and denominations working together in ways they haven't before.

Sunday's featured Palm Sunday speaker at the Hill District's Five N One churches, all Protestant, is David Zubik, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Pittsburgh. The service will be in the Calvary Baptist Church, 2629 Wylie Ave., at 4 p.m. It's the first time that a Catholic bishop has been a featured speaker at this cross denominational group of churches.

"Anything we can do to share our common beliefs is good," Zubik said.

Working together makes all faiths stronger, said the Rev. Thomas E. Smith, pastor at Monumental Baptist Church and one of the Five N One churches.

"Some people have the impression that churches don't get along, and lots of young people have not even had a church. But Easter is a holiday we all recognize, and it's wonderful that we are sharing it in this way," Smith said.

Zubik, 62, marveled at the level of ecumenical worship and interfaith activities compared to the church of his youth.

"That would not have been something many people did, go to a different faith community. That's changed, and it's for the better," he said.

On Monday, about 100 Lutheran pastors and Episcopal priests and deacons will have a first joint ceremony to renew their ordination vows at 10:30 a.m. in Trinity Cathedral, 328 Sixth Ave., Downtown. And next Saturday, Trinity will conduct a joint Easter Vigil at 7 p.m. with First Lutheran Church, 615 Grant St., another Downtown church.

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