By Devlin Smith
On Saturday, Jan. 23 at 6:22 p.m., the Claremont United Church of Christ in Claremont, Calif., will host a U2charist service in its Kingman Chapel. The service’s offering will benefit the African Well Fund.
Karl Haushalter is one of the organizer’s of the event and answered a few questions about this weekend’s service.
What is your role in the hosting of this U2charist service?
The U2charist services at Claremont UCC are planned by a team that includes lay members of the congregation, our church administrator and the senior pastor. Our planning team meetings are fun brainstorming sessions–and feature listening to a lot of U2 music as we decide upon the song list for the service.
Why did your church want to host a U2charist service?
We believe that there are many ways to worship God and feel a connection to the divine. While the traditional organ and choir format works well for many people, others are moved by the spirit most when listening and singing along to rock music. The U2charist service gives us a chance to reach out to folks who want to explore their faith in a non-traditional way. In addition, we are huge fans of the way that U2 blends faith and social justice in their music.
How did you decide to have AWF be the beneficiary of this event?
One of the AWF board members attended our first U2charist service in September 2009 and mentioned her involvement with AWF on a survey that we passed out at the end of the service. We had not previously heard about the organization, but we were very impressed by what we learned. In order to receive permission from U2 to use their music for their service, we are required to pass any money that we collect to an outside organization and the mission of AWF fits beautifully with the goals and wishes expressed by U2. We are very pleased to be partnering with AWF.
What are your goals for the event?
Above all, we want to offer people an opportunity to express and explore their faith in a way that is fun and inspiring. We believe in a God that cares deeply about humanity and about social justice. By including AWF in the service, we are able to make this important connection. Raising money for AWF is a way that we can make tangible our commitment to seeing God’s work done for the least of these.
How can people get more information on the service being held at the Claremont United Church of Christ?
On Facebook, become a fan of the ClaremontU2charist page. On Twitter, you can follow us at U2charist91711. Our church office can be reached at (909) 626-1201.
Anything else you would like to share about the U2charist service to be held at the Claremont United Church of Christ?
All are welcome. We believe in providing an extravagant welcome to everyone, no matter where people are on their faith journey.
By Devlin Smith