When Michael Delfín stepped into his first worship service at The Mission Cincinnati, he said it felt like coming home.
While the joyful welcome of friends and strangers was encouraging and the music and sermon were clear and uplifting, what Michael remembers most about that first Sunday was the incredible experience he had receiving communion. Our services take place in a white-washed cinder block room. When it comes time to share the Lord’s supper, the words we say around the table are ancient prayers from the Anglican Book of Common prayer that haven’t changed in centuries. Typically the celebrant (the priest presiding over the table) will offer a few words of reflection connecting the grace we experience in communion with one of the points of the sermon, but there are no pyrotechnics, no emotionally charged stuff, just an ordinary moment. And that’s what makes Michael’s experience so incredible. When he went forward to receive the elements, he recalls powerfully feeling God’s embrace: knowing Christ’s love for him, and sensing deeply in his spirit that this church was the family God was calling him to make home. When he returned to his seat, he realized he had shed tears. He had encountered God powerfully, in a way he could compare to few other moments in his life.
Michael is not alone in this experience of community, welcome, and God’s presence at The Mission Cincinnati. One of our other members, AudrieAna Gardner, when asked what makes The Mission Cincinnati unique responded, “we don’t just talk about God here, we experience Him.” Others have shared similar experiences of being profoundly touched by God at the communion table. Perhaps it is the visual of children from our neighborhood sharing the body and blood of Christ with medical students, retired financiers, neighborhood leaders, and teachers. Perhaps it is the experience of people who used to not know each other from Adam, suddenly finding their lives knit together in a deeply spiritual way. Strangers now serve together and invite each other into their homes. They pray together, they worship together, and as the Apostle Peter wrote of the church in one of his Biblical letters, they are experiencing Christ building their lives together “like living stones to create a spiritual house in which God dwells” (1 Peter 2:5). Or perhaps it is simply Jesus being faithful to His promise that when two or more are gathered in His name, there He will be also (Matthew 18:20). Perhaps it is all of these things.
The result however is clear, people are experiencing belonging together in Christ at The Mission Cincinnati. We don’t all look the same or have the same backgrounds and that is part of the beauty. There is room at the table for all. Our worship services, our Mission Communities, and our ministries of hospitality are some of the ministries you fuel by giving to The Mission Cincinnati on #givingTuesday. We are always excited to make space for the next person to come to Christ, the next person to experiencing the gift of spiritual family, the next person to hear God say in their spirit “Welcome Home.”
If you live in Cincinnati and are interested in what such an experience of worship feels like, you are welcome to join us Sundays at 10 AM at the Evanston Recreation Center (3204 Woodburn Rd. Cincinnati OH 45207). If you have any questions about our church or wish to speak with a pastor, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.