In April of 2010, many people gathered at Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church for “An Evening of Prayerful Repentance and Reconciliation.” Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Jr. and Dr. John M. Perkins led us in a time of worship and celebration and prayerful solidarity that God’s people might become one in the Greater Portland area. Ever since then, many Christians have been meeting in different locations to encourage and exhort and equip the multi-ethnic Christian community in the greater Portland area. There have been ups and downs along the way. However, I now feel that we are gaining traction with these gatherings.
We are now giving a title to our monthly gatherings involving various churches. We are calling our gatherings “The John 17:23 Network.” The aim of The John 17:23 Network is to encourage, exhort, and equip the multi-ethnic Body of Christ in the greater Portland area to fulfill Jesus’ prayer in our midst that we might all be one.
We held our first meeting for the 2011 year at Trinity Full Gospel Pentecostal Church on January 30th. Pastor William Turner, the Senior Pastor of Trinity and his church’s choir, Pastor David Stevens, Senior Pastor of Central Bible Church, Pastor Cliff Chappell, Senior Pastor of All Nations Church of God in Christ, and a large gathering of people from various churches came together to pray and worship and encourage one another to seek to live into Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Many shared after the celebration how encouraged they were by the event. Our prayer is that such gatherings will energize us to run the marathon race of breaking down divisions and entering into the fullness of Jesus’ undying and reconciling love for the church.
Please stay tuned for updates regarding the upcoming meetings. Please see the attached document with details of the January 30th meeting as well as information regarding the meetings in February and March. Thank you. God bless you!
Paul Louis Metzger