Historic Christ Reformed Church, Shepherdstown, a congregation of the United Church of Christ dating from 1747, and Emmanuel Baust Reformed Church, Westminster, Md., a parish founded in 1765, will join forces for the celebration of Pentecost this year during a festival evening eucharist at the Shepherdstown church on Sunday, June 8. Both Christ Church and Emmanuel Baust Church originated in their respective locations among the German immigrants that populated the region during the 1700s, bringing with them their roots in the German Reformed Church. Since that time several denominational mergers have occurred ultimately resulting in the formation of the United Church of Christ in 1957.
Both Emmanuel Baust Church and Christ Church are part of the Catoctin Association of the United Church of Christ, a judicatory comprised of Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia, and Washington, Frederick, and Carroll counties in Maryland. Adding to the richness of this years Pentecost celebration these two historic parishes of the denomination have invited as their honored guests the newest congregation of the Catoctin Association, Veritas United Church of Christ of Hagerstown, Md. Veritas received its official standing as a congregation within the denomination just two months ago.
The United Church of Christ is a denomination which claims diversity as one of its greatest strengths. One might encounter vastly different worship styles among its various parishes, often reflective of the local church's heritage. This year's Pentecost celebration unites three parishes in common worship in spite of their usual diverse worship styles. Christ Church, Shepherdstown, the oldest of the three parishes, maintains the most formal traditional worship practices, while Veritas, the youngest of the three congregations, maintains all of the essentials of liturgical worship, but expresses their worship in a most fresh contemporary manner. It is not surprising that Emmanuel Baust Church follows a worship style which falls between the ultra traditional and the ultra contemporary.
The public is most cordially invited to share in this worship experience as we express our gratitude to God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. A reception will follow the service.
The service begins at 6:50 p.m. with the organ prelude by Mary Ann Morgan, Director of Music at Christ Church. The Reverend Jeff Dull, pastor of Emmanuel Baust Church, will deliver the sermon. Christ Church practices open communion, inviting all who wish to commune. Christ Reformed Church is located at 304 East German St. in Shepherdstown.