Hamilton, Ontario Canada--our hometown--used to make steel. Once upon a time it was an industrial giant employing tens of thousands. Not anymore. The steel mills employ a meager five percent of what they once did. In our lifetime, our city has boasted little more than some of the poorest neighborhoods in the country and abandoned storefronts left to remind us of a bygone age. “Nothing good comes from Hamilton”--that was the attitude. We had come to be known as the armpit of Canada.
Until, in these same struggling neighborhoods, something incredible happened.
Fifteen years ago, churches of different Christian denominations began to work together to bless our city. These churches gathered to listen to each other, imagine a different future for our city, and do something about it. In nearly abandoned neighborhoods that struggled to see hope, Churches led the way in collaboration. Today, Hamilton has changed for good. A once decayed downtown is booming amidst a cultural revival. Churches are growing, in many cases doubling in size. In many ways, because Churches stood in unity to bless the city and make a difference. This gathering of churches didn’t wait to agree on everything before acting in unity. Why? Because, in the eyes of Jesus, it was already true.
“We Are One” is a declaration of our unity found not only in ideas or beliefs, but also in Jesus Christ. Our salvation comes not just from a good idea, but also from a flesh-and-blood man from a “nothing good ever comes from” town. He lived a real and incredible life. He was crucified and died only to return and ascend to rule as the Lord of all He has made, promising future hope and the eventual redemption of all things.
Different Churches. Different traditions.
In Him, we are One.
-Elias Dummer, The City Harmonic