Last Wednesday night, Washington Plaza began a joint fall effort with our friends at Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church just down the street in Reston. We're doing Bible Study together for the next 12 weeks.

MLK Church and WPBC are no strangers to one another. We've been friends for a while now. I count Rev. Jean Robinson-Casey one of my dearest clergy colleagues. Over the course of the past two years, we've shared a special Diversity service together, Good Friday services, a Maundy Thursday service and one Sunday morning joint worship service where I was asked to preach for MLK's 30th anniversary (with a joint lunch together to follow).

But as is the case with all kinds of friendships, there comes a time when you have to take things to the next level. If you are going to be friends, you really have to be friends, not just in words but in actions. Rev. Casey and I both agreed that a joint Bible study on Wednesday nights this fall was just the right next step. Our fellowship and learning would be sweeter, we knew. Rev. Casey and I dreamed together one afternoon over lunch about what we might like to study and how our coming together could bless both of our congregations. We'd study, Barbara Brown Taylor's book, An Altar in the World. And, let the Spirit lead us into the rest.

Last Wednesday night, we had a great kick-off to this joint venture! The sweetness that always seems to be there when both churches gather shone through. It seems no profound to say it was fun, but it truly was! We laughed and shared stories with one another. It felt to me, as it always seems to feel when we gather that "This is how church should be!" MLK folks came over to WPBC's sanctuary and I led the discussion. Tonight, we'll go to MLK's building and Rev. Casey will lead us.

The sky's the limit to see how God continues to lead our friendship as we grow together in study this fall! I'm one happy pastor to be along for the ride.