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Worship Service Wednesday to Bring Together Pentecostals, Roman Catholics in Springfield

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A joint worship service between two unlikely faith groups—Roman Catholics and Pentecostals—will take place Wednesday, January 22 in Springfield.  It’s a first in this area, and it’s part of an effort to achieve stronger Christian unity. KSMU's Samantha Nichols has more.

In 1988, Bishop John Leibrecht, who is now Bishop Emeritus of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, wrote a letter to Catholics in the Ozarks.  He drew from the Second Vatican Council to illustrate the importance of dialogue between the Catholic Church and its counterparts in “The Bible Belt.” Leibrecht spoke to KSMU this week, and says the effort to create unity in this area goes back to the 1970s.

“It started with some of the local priests and ministers just wanting to get to know one another better. But then, they invited other people into their gatherings and started talking about topics of interest to both religious communities,” Bishop Leibrecht said.

Leibrecht noted a rise in secularism as one reason for Christians to “be together more often.” Needless to say, a worship service combining Pentecostal and Roman Catholic traditions will be unique.  Leibrecht said despite the differences between the two denominations, the service will be structured around what the two groups have in common.

“The first part of our gathering is going to be informational, just giving a little history of why we are having the prayer service. And then the prayer service will include prayers together that both communities are open to. We’ll pray the ‘Our Father’ together, for instance. And then we will have some scripture readings from the Gospel and from the New Testament. And then there will be a homily and additional prayer together,” Bishop Leibrecht said.

This worship service will take place Wednesday, January 22 at Evangel Temple—an Assemblies of God church—at 6:30 pm. It is open to the public. Evangel Temple is located at 2020 E. Battlefield  in Springfield.