Christians Gather for Interdenominational Service
First Gathering of Different Groups on Campus
Calling for Christians to put aside their differences and move toward unity, the Rev. Peter J. Gomes yesterday evening in Memorial Church led the first interdenominational church service in Harvard history.
"This is a precedent setting occasion," Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, told the congregation of about 125. He said that "our hearts and minds and energies" should be devoted to unity among the various Christian denominations.
Gomes said that the different groups should not view themselves as "spiritual Lone Rangers," but instead try to discover similarities between denominations.
Last night's worship was "a sign of encouragement and hope" in striving for Christian unity, Gomes said.
In addition to Gomes' sermon, the service included standard prayers, hymns and readings, which were chosen for their acceptability to both Catholics and Protestants, said Karen V. Shaw '86, who helped organize the event.
The worship service was sponsored by the United Christian Committee which Shaw formed at the beginning of this year. The group aims to instigate communication between the separate Christian groups on campus, she said.
Until now there has been almost no interaction between the many Christian groups on campus, said Timothy A. Welsh '88 a member of the Catholic Student Center.
"I'm sincerely hoping it will happen again next year," Shaw said, adding that a future UCC goal would be a meeting house similar to Hillel House, where Christians could eat meals and conduct prayer services.