Details continue to unfold about the nation’s first Ebola patient who remains in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital near his Vickery Meadow community, as health officials monitor all those with whom he came in contact, including students from nearby schools. The Dallas Morning News has regular updates.
Just across Central Expressway, NorthPark Presbyterian is the closest church to the zone now swarming with national media attention. In reaction to the situation, senior pastor Brent Barry says:
“Our faith tradition teaches that our backyard is a very big place. It stretches all the way from Walnut Hill to West Africa. It includes not only anxiety over the one patient with Ebola in Dallas, but anguish for the many brothers and sisters in West Africa who have lost children and parents to this disease. This week serves as a humbling reminder that our humanity in Dallas, Texas, is inseparable from the humanity of the world. We have a very big backyard.”
The church is planning a special service at 11 a.m. this Sunday, Oct. 5. It’s actually the traditional World Communion Day, which has been held in Presbyterian churches since 1937. This one will take on special meaning. The church’s African members will lead the peacemaking offering. The service will begin with greetings in multiple languages followed by liturgy from around the world.
The Affirmation of Faith comes from The Maasai Creed composed in 1960 by the Maasai people of East Africa, where NorthPark supports the Tumutumu Eye Clinic through mission work. Communion will be served in the four corners of the sanctuary, representing the four corners of the world. The church’s Thai members will serve lunch following the service.
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