Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:23 PM on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Lord Sunday: Church outside the walls

By Lindsay Ralph


Photos by Joshua Veldstra

Area residents participate in the One Lord Sunday service held March 18 at Homer High School; 884 people attended the service, which has become an annual spring tradition in Homer.

Like any holiday when extended family gathers to celebrate, there's a sense of anticipation to come together and share in the traditions of the season. That same excitement hung in the air as 884 people filed through the doors of Homer High School on One Lord Sunday, March 18.

While the traditions of each household may differ, they still found it exciting and fun to participate in worship as one big family.

Voices resounded and bodies swung to the beat when the worship team began playing its first song. A music team led by Steve Eayrs, Lorraine Williams and Greg Newell came together in harmony and was backed by the Alaska Bible Institute choir.

Each part of the service was represented by leadership from many of the different congregations in the area.

As is tradition when this group of people gathers, an offering was taken to raise funds for the Ken Fisher Ministerial Scholarship Fund. A total of $3,688 was given. This scholarship was established by the churches in Homer as a means of expressing their values in the community by honoring a graduating high school senior who has consistently upheld Biblical values and character. A student will be chosen to receive this gift later in the school year.


Steve Eayrs leads worship for the service, which brings together members of many of the different congregations in the area.

Pastors Darren Williams, Jon Ralph and Jeff Josephson spoke from the heart in the main message. They hoped to communicate the importance of unity when influencing people not familiar with God's love: seeing unity as a form of outreach, being unified in purpose and being unified to love like Christ are three ways to accomplish this goal.

They shared about Jesus breaking down the barriers of indifference when He died on the cross for everyone.

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV). God has given each person a group of people to reach for God (see Ephesians 4:11-13). Each one has a different purpose, just like all the muscles in the body. Yet, one cannot function without each muscle doing its part. However, just like anyone with a human nature, sin such as selfishness can get in the way. It's like an open wound. If one doesn't attend to their wounds, it can eventually get infected and kill the whole body.

God wants everyone to bind selfishness and put on the spiritual gifts God has given them (see Isaiah 1:16-20). God has a plan for everyone's life — to love as he loved.

During the service, Stephanie Sloth stood up to share her personal experience of being loved by people in the area. She was encouraged and proud of the Christians who stepped up to take care of her in a time of need.

So, what is one to do with all this information? Put it into practice, right outside the church walls.

Lindsay Ralph is the wife of Pastor Jon Ralph and soon- to-be, first-time mom. She serves as worship leader and Sunday School teacher at the Church of the Nazarene.