JEFFERSON CITY -- First Baptist Church of Jefferson City shared joint worship services, a
joint choir and a guest speaker Oct. 17 with the congregation across the street -- First United Methodist Church.
Unity Sunday brought the Methodists to First Baptist's sanctuary for 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. worship services, while the Methodist church hosted a fellowship in its Christian Life Center in between.
Well-known speaker and prolific author Tony Campolo brought messages in both services and signed books following services and during the fellowship time.
First Baptist Pastor Doyle Sager told the congregation that he and his counterpart at First United Methodist, Daniel Hilty, had developed a close friendship.
Hilty affirmed that the congregations were good neighbors and had been planning Unity Sunday for a long time.
Campolo challenged the congregations to actively minister to the community and the world around them, recounting in the second service the parable of the sower from Matthew 13.
He noted some of the seed in the parable fell on the path and was quickly consumed by birds, some on rocky, shallow soil with underdeveloped roots, some among choking thorns and some on good ground. "What kind of soil are you?" he asked.
He urged them to experience centering prayer every day -- "not asking for anything" -- to allow the Spirit "to flow into you."
"The cares of this world will choke you to death," Campolo said, cautioning against sexual sin, materialism and consumerism. Instead, he said, invest resources in ministries of compassion.