QUINCY -- The Christian Ministers Fellowship will host a special community worship service to kick off the new year with a positive message.
The first-time event will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday at First Union Congregational Church, 12th and Maine.
"Our main goal is to be a united front, spiritually, for our community," said Bruce Rice, pastor of spiritual care at First Union Congregational Church. "It will be a pleasant experience for anyone who attends. Hopefully, the community will respond."
The nondenominational event is open to everyone. The Rev. James Hailey III, pastor of Bethel AME and president of the Christian Minister's Fellowship, will be the guest speaker.
"None of us know what we have to face in the future," Hailey said. "We need to drop the titles that tie us to a denomination of thought and come together and worship."
Hailey hopes to see the service grow into an annual event that rotates annually among different community churches.
"It's not about any one group or individual," he said. "It's community worship for those who believe."
The service was prompted, in part, by the success of the March for Jesus in September, which returned to Quincy's downtown in 2017 after a 17-year absence.
"Since the March for Jesus, there's been a greater emphasis on pastors in town getting together and praying together more often," said Chuck Hetzler, pastor of First Union Congregational Church. "We came together for the March for Jesus, and it's something we should do more often."
The Christian Ministers Fellowship regularly participates in the National Day of Prayer, an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May that invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation. The theme of the 2018 National Day of Prayer, which will be May 3, is "Unity."
"This is a great way for us to start that," Hetzler said.
Hetzler said Monday's service will more informal than liturgical. A clergy choir comprising several pastors from Quincy churches will perform.
The Christian Ministers Fellowship has 25 pastors in its ranks. Hetzler hopes to have the membership well-represented at the community service, with ideally worshippers from at least half of the pastors' churches attending.