OGDEN -- Elim Lutheran Church and Ogden Japanese Christian Church are inviting the public to celebrate with them as they meet together for a special joint service April 29.
The service will begin at 10 a.m. at Elim Lutheran Church, 575 23rd St.
The two churches have stood on opposite corners of 23rd Street and Jefferson Avenue in Ogden since 1927, but have had little to do with one another, states a news release from the churches.
Louise Cole, a senior member at Elim Lutheran, remembers that before Elim bought the land for its parking lot, members of the two churches would have contests every Sunday to see who could get there earlier to get the parking places on the street closest to their respective churches.
"There was a choir exchange about 10 years ago, and that was the extent of the two congregations' involvement with one another," states the news release. "But that is about to change."
The April 29 service will be followed by a potluck luncheon and travelogue program.
Pastor Jill Minnich, of Ogden Japanese Christian Church, will preside during the service, following a Presbyterian program.
Tenor Rick Givens, worship and music director at Elim, will sing a solo during the service.
The potluck will be provided by members of both churches.
Minnich will present a program about her 2011 trip to the Holy Land.
She will illustrate her program with 50 to 60 projected slides selected from the thousands of pictures she took.
The Knights Templar of Utah funded her trip.
"What we basically did is follow the life of Christ," Minnich said of her trip. She said she visited Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea, among other places.
She described the program as her own personal approach with a little historical background.
"My intent is to be more devotional than scholarly," she said. "It will be more about the feeling of the sites."
While Minnich has discussed her trip during a number of sermons and other events with her congregation, she said her presentation will be the first time members there have seen her slides.
But she warns that she's not a skilled photographer.
"Hopefully, people will be kind," she said.
Minnich said her favorite parts of the tour of the Holy Land were the times her group ventured off the beaten path.
She remembers well how she felt when she was visiting a dungeon, much like the one Jesus would have been taken to the night he was arrested.
"That was the first time I had thought about the time he waited," she said, noting that she read the story of the crucifixion while she was there.
The worship service, luncheon and following program are open to the public, the news release states.
There is no charge for the program or the luncheon, although offerings will be taken during the worship service, and a free-will offering will be taken at the luncheon for the benefit of SHARE, a local hunger relief agency.