from Noah Gray

It's easy to tread on well-worn paths. Familiar faces and names ease tensions and fear and provide comfort and a sense of belonging. Faces and names become family and community is established through common experiences and goals. But, in my life, profound moments have often come through challenging and expanding my idea of unity.

I’ll count November 9, 2018 as an inflection point; a profound moment for me that expanded my idea of community and unity.

Uncharted hosted Collective Night focused on joining together a diverse, multi-faceted body of believers for a night of shared worship and prayer. As Communications Director for Uncharted and one of the worship leaders for the event, I had a hand in a lot of the process. I’d be lying if I said that, even on the day of the event, I wasn’t nervous.

But there came a moment, after all of the practices, people getting sick, a light board crashing, and countless volunteer hours from people across the community, where I had to resign every fear I had.

What occurred was something we couldn’t have planned. A full room. A crowd of people from across the tristate area and beyond. Worship and prayer that crossed church lines. There was an energy and a sense of unity among the crowd that I never could have expected. In those moments, it didn’t matter what church you went to, where you were from, where you’ve been, or how long you’ve been doing this. It was a community, a diverse community, with all of its beauty and all of its faults, worshiping together. As we sang “I can see your hear 8 billion different ways, every precious one a child you died to save” I kept thinking of one of the verses that helped guide this night from the beginning:

“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

-John 17:23

Noah Gray