More than 20 churches big and small will shut their doors Sunday morning and cancel their regular services.
But fear not.
There will be church.
The annual City Wide Worship starts at 10:30 a.m., bringing all those people together under one roof at Prospera Centre. And if past history is indicative of future events, the 5000+ seats in the arena will be packed.
“It’s awesome, just knowing there’s a whole bunch of people who are excited to be there, celebrating God’s love together,” said Hugo Reimer, the lead pastor at Sardis Community Church. “It encourages me to see people from different backgrounds and walks of life, all in one place.”
Reimer likens it to a family gathering.
Three hundred and sixty four days a year, worshippers have their immediate church family.
But once a year, the whole clan gets together for a big family reunion.
Though denominations and congregations may differ on matters of scriptural interpretation, service style and the like, the underpinnings of their faith are the same.
“Just knowing that we’re not alone, there’s great benefit to recognizing that,” Reimer said. “We can do more together than we can do by ourselves.”
Peter Biggs, a spokesman for the organizing Chilliwack Ministerial says he knows of no other municipality in the province that does this.
The experience as the choir fires up and thousands of voices join in, he notes, is amazing.
“There is a qualitative presence of God in such of environment, and it just seems to have a higher level of octane,” Biggs explained. “It’s deeply edifying for the Christian, especially the new Christian. It’s powerful.”
More information on Sunday’s service, plus a multi-media slide show from last year’s event, are viewable online at churchinchilliwack.com.