Converge Night of Worship Program Draws 100 In Attendance

Converge 'Night of Worship' Program Draws 100 In Attendance

Aaron Nakamura speaking at Converge: Night of Worship

With such a long wait from now until Converge's August 2015 re-launch, college students and young adults from all over southern California who anticipated an earlier premiere date were treated with a special early-preview experience. On Friday, May 8th, 2015, a special 'Converge: Night of Worship' program was put on to help promote and offer a preview of what is to come this year.

The result? The contemporary worship program drew nearly 100 college-age and young adult individuals---some from the neighborhood and some representing one of over seven churches represented at the program.

The program consisted of refreshments, fellowship, prayer, testimonies, and moving praise music featuring Jed de la Paz and friends, most from the La Sierra and Loma Linda University communities. Pono Lopez and Aaron Nakamura presented real-as-ever Christ-centered thoughts and illustrations for the night.

Pono Lopez, sharing one of the thoughts for the night Photo: Pono Lopez leading one of the evening's two thoughts for those in attendance to ponder.

Since its inception in the summer of 2014, Converge is the newest and most thriving College & Young Adult ministry programs that the Temple City Seventh-day Adventist church has seen in at least the last decade.

According to Jon de la Paz, one of the church's many young adult ministry leaders and program's pioneer, Converge is a Friday night worship program with one big picture: "[Having] churches, cities, stories, world views, ages and races, coming together with one purpose and one goal, worshiping in a community." Jon adds that Converge "is a vespers, allowing people to connect with others and to connect with God in preparation for the Sabbath."

Last year, Converge premiered as an every-Friday, summer-only program. Adding to its purpose, Jon de la Paz says that the program: "was to provide a place for young adults, particularly college students, to meet and worship while they are home for the summer." And although this year's Converge programming won't start until late summer in August 2015, it is expected that this year's launch will become a year-round program altered to take place once a month---the first Friday of every month.

Keyla Montejo, a young adult visiting from Monterrey, Mexico, deep in one of the evening's thoughtsPhoto: Keyla Montejo, a young adult visiting from Monterrey, Mexico, deep in one of the evening's thoughts

"The ten weeks during [last] summer really helped give us an idea of the ministry's resources and capabilities as well as further establish the mission of the program. During those ten weeks, we discovered the need and desire for a year-round, young adult-focused Friday night worship service and this year. We hope to start that off."

As for this past Friday, Jon states:

"The most beautiful moment for me, was actually after the service. To look out from the stage and see a sea of people, from different churches, ages, and races, staying behind to converse and get to know each other. My hope for Converge is that it becomes a bustling hub, where people from the area, not just one church, can come together, share ideas, and travel thru this journey of life together. You see, our lives do not depend on a single “night of worship”, but we continue on day after day. I believe people that worship together, live together. As we connect with each other and build relationships, and God is present in all of this, our faith will be stronger than it ever could be by worshiping alone."

With a large attendance draw for this special Converge preview event, a sound, Christ-centered program, God, and a clear and confident vision for the future, the Temple City Church and surrounding community does not have a better worship program and ministry for college students and young adults than Converge.-AN


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