The Edmond Sun


April 25, 2014

Edmond church launches international service

EDMOND — An Edmond church is launching a new service for everyone but designed for individuals from other nations.

The All Nations Worship Service, which begins Sunday, will be from 3-5 p.m. Sundays in the fellowship hall at the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, located six blocks south of the University of Central Oklahoma at 1001 S. Rankin St.

First Presbyterian Elder Steve Kinney said the goal of the weekly Sunday afternoon service is to make disciples who make disciples, that is to live life together as Jesus lived his life with his disciples and to form a community in which individuals truly care about each other and support each other.

“One of the principles we are trying to interject into this international worship service is the disciple shift concept where we all should be making disciples who, in turn, go and make disciples,” Kinney said.

Kinney said the model is Jesus who mentored 12 disciples, a group that included an inner circle consisting of Peter, James and John. Later Jesus appointed 72 others and sent them ahead of him two by two into every town and place he was about to visit (Luke 10:1-12).

“For this process to work, we as disciple-makers have to be willing to become ‘family’ members of those we are discipling, which will require more time commitment than we typically think about today,” Kinney said. “If it is good enough for Jesus then it should be good enough for us.”

Inspiration for the service comes from First Presbyterian’s mission work in eastern Uganda, where members have been sent as part of an expanding church-planting effort since 2007, and in Kenya, where the congregation supports a growing home for children.

First Presbyterian members Eunice and Robert Menja created Upendo Kids International so that missionaries could help children in Kenya, their homeland. The organization supports school children and established Upendo Children’s Home for orphans and destitute children. The mission includes providing children with a quality education.

Eunice said she was a Presbyterian in Kenya, making joining First Presbyterian Edmond a logical choice. After enrolling in Oklahoma State University in 2004, her family moved to Edmond in 2009. Upendo Kids International was born at First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, Eunice said. In 2013, the orphanage was opened due to support from First Presbyterian Church of Edmond members.

“We looked up online for a Presbyterian church that had a contemporary service because that is the kind of worship we experience back in Kenya in the Presbyterian church,” Eunice said.

First Presbyterian offers both an 8:15 a.m. traditional service and an 11 a.m. contemporary service on Sunday mornings.

Individuals from other parts of the world have joined the church. Andy and Wienke Marlinata came to the United States from Surabaya, Indonesia, the island nation’s second-largest city. Andy’s sister was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond. Like Eunice, Andy was a Presbyterian in his homeland, where he began to follow Christ at the age of 15.

“We prayed about it and after a few months decided to join,” Andy said.

The Marlinatas, who have two boys age 3 and age 7, were looking for a church with a thriving music program. Family members became part of the church’s production of the drama “One Incredible Moment.” Andy sings in the sanctuary choir on Sunday mornings. He and his wife also host a Bible study for others from Indonesia in their home.

For more information about the service or the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, call 341-3602 or visit Childcare will be available.

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