JOHNSON CITY — A group of young adults and college students is hoping the third time will be the charm for bringing 1,000 churches together at East Tennessee State University.
Adoration 2019 will mark the group’s third attempt to gather representatives from that many churches across the region for a large-scale worship event in the Mini Dome.
Though the group fell short of its 1,000-church goal the last two years, organizer Thomas Cook remains optimistic and excited about this year’s event.
“There’s a lot of good happening all throughout the region,” Cook said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done, but there are a lot of people doing a lot of great things, and so we just want to continue what we started.”
A change from the previous two events, Adoration 2019 will be held on a Saturday this year, rather than a Sunday. The event will be held Sept. 28 in and around the ETSU Mini Dome, and there is no cost to attend.
This year’s theme, “Love One Another,” is based on Jesus’ words in John 13:35, which reads, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
In addition to music and worship, the event will once again provide tools and resources to help churches combat the region’s opioid epidemic.
“We really believe one of the solutions to the drug epidemic is churches working together and supporting each other in the community, and we don’t think any one organization or any one church can really reach all the people who are suffering and struggling,” Cook said. “If we work together and collectively have a supportive and loving mindset toward other churches, we believe a lot of healing will come to the community.”
What to expect
The event will begin with a prayer service at 2 p.m., followed by an organizational expo at 3:30 featuring regional recovery organizations. A block party with food trucks will begin at 4:30, and the main event will start at 6:30.
A new addition to the event, organizers will collect a special offering that will be donated to organizations that serve babies born addicted to drugs.
“We’ve still got a big local focus,” Cook said, “serving the local community … and just making the church a friendly place for people to walk through recovery in and to open up about addiction or any other struggle that they’re going through.”
Though all members of each church are invited to attend, only one member needs to register as the representative, with the approval of church leadership. Registration is now open at adorationlife.com.
“It would be a really big encouragement for them to attend the event,” Cook said. “It’s an encouragement and inspiration to see a lot of people who have a lot of differences coming together around a central cause.”