Churches work together to celebrate Good Friday

Jodi Schellenberg
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Instead of claiming their church is the cat’s pajamas, a group Prince Albert churches are putting on a multidenominational service on Good Friday.

“It has been going on for about nine or ten years now,” said Gregg Rustulka, pastor of the Open Door Community Church of the Nazarene.

The minister of the Prince Albert Apostolic Church started the idea, who had a vision to see the churches in the city united as one at Easter, Rustulka said.

“We thought it would be really kind of cool if a lot churches that didn’t have Good Friday services, if we all could get together and be just one large community, tear down those denominational barriers, get rid of all the politics and things like that,” he said. “People just got excited about it, pastors got excited about it, so we started gathering together and decided to do a celebration service instead of a memorial service -- kind of a non-traditional.”

Since it started, it has grown to include between nine to 11 churches every year, with pastors, musicians, singers and parishioners gathering together in one place.

“We just have a real mix, it is eclectic and it is just a great time,” Rustulka said. “We get excited doing it every year.”

He said it is exciting to see people not caring what denomination they belong to, instead uniting for the service.

“It just seems like more and more of people in the city who are looking for a church to go to don’t have to look for a denomination per say but they are looking for being part of a fellowship,” Rustulka said. “The churches and pastors support each other and it is really nice. It is a great place.”

Last year, the guest speaker was Catholic bishop Albert Thevenot, who was excited to be at the service, he said.

“He just spoke a message from God’s word that was just inspiring,” Rustulka said. “That was one of the first times we have actually had the Catholic diocese join with us and some of their people come over … This year there are a number of others planning on coming too because they don’t usually have a service at that time -- they usually have it in the afternoon.”

He said joining together is an amazing idea because all the churches are celebrating the same belief.

“I think the thing we want to celebrate is the reality of what Jesus did,” Rustulka said. “It is inspiring -- it really is. You walk away feeling God’s presence and just knowing that he is so pleased with his kids. I found out god is not Baptist after all -- he is just part of all of us.”

This year, the service will be held on Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Crossroads Assembly on the East Hill, since it is one of the churches large enough to hold all the congregations in one place.

Organizations: Open Door Community Church of the Nazarene, Prince Albert Apostolic Church, Crossroads Assembly on the East Hill

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