By Kathy Cole
The seed (for Worship @ Buffalo taking place April 1-21 2011) started back in November of 2009, the first weekend of the month. Two events very significant to WNY took place; The Eagles' Wings River Conference at Lovejoy and the beginning of the Extreme Home Makeover on the West Side. At that Eagles' Wings conference one of the speakers, Barbara Yoder, prophesied to the WNY region, declaring its time to WORSHIP, WORSHIP, WORSHIP, To WORSHIP, WORSHIP, WORSHIP! That weekend my husband and I were in Pittsburgh, PA to meet up with our son's Army reserves family readiness group to make up Christmas stocking to ship to his unit serving in Iraq so I only heard Barbara's message to WNY on a CD from the conference.That Saturday morning, I so wanted to be there for the opening of the 1st day of the Extreme Home Makeover show, instead I had a very vivid dream just before waking up in our Pittsburgh hotel room.I saw a brilliant huge orange-pink sunrise at the foot of West Ferry Street at the Niagara River. I clearly knew it was a sunrise and not a sunset. After waking and thinking about what I saw, I realized what I saw was impossible in the natural, The sun cannot rise at the foot of West Ferry St.At the moment in my Spirit I heard God say, " A day is coming when the sun, my Son will rise over the west side and my Glory will be shown."
These are things I tucked away for another time. Still looking for and expecting a Corporate Worship gathering on a larger scale to come about. That to my knowledge hasn't happened as yet. Last year a friend of mine approached me about God speaking to Him regarding 40 days of worship for WNY.I thought that was a great idea. For various reasons, that did not take off and perhaps the timing was not for then. At the end of January 2011, I felt like God was speaking to me about 21 days of Worship. I wasn't sure when that would be. I started going to the various months in the 2011 calendar seeing if anything seemed significant. When I got to April and I saw that April 21st ends the day before Good Friday, that was the confirmation in my spirit that April was the month.
I firmly believe, Barbara's Yoder's Word to WNY was for us to heed and to do it. I have some experience at coordinating things, so I put a list together of the Churches I knew, ones part of the CovNet family of churches, and thought this is do-able. My friend, Mark who had the idea of the 40 days of worship was a great help at getting together the website, worshipatbuffalo.tumbler.com and very instrumental at making contacts and connections. We started last February and early March put the first ad in UNITE. It has been challenging at times, to have churches commit to a date. We felt that Sunday's should be reserved to folks to worship in their own home churches, so that required only 18 dates that needed to be filled. God has blessed our efforts, we have two locations and times set up for Saturday's the 9th and 16th. And as things would go, after our calendar was full, I heard from a couple other pastors who wished they heard about it sooner and wanted their churches to be apart of it.
So, that tells me this may become more than a yearly event. God is so up to something for our region. We need to be prepared to come together more than yearly. We need to listen and follow the Holy Spirit's leading. Our objective is for a church to host, 2 hours of worship, with their worship team, no agenda, just worship Him who is Worthy to be worshipped!
What would I like to see have accomplished in the 21 days? For God to have His way over our area, Our coming together to Worship Him, folks from various churches, denominations and locations, to me this lends itself for a platform in which God can build a Spirit of Unity in our region like we've yet to experience. I see a place where pastors, can stand shoulder to shoulder, worshipping God, with no strings attached, no need to speak or pray, just experience an intimate time worshipping on a corporate level. My desire and expectation is that folks will experience a new freedom in worship that they have not known before. I want the heavens to be so open over WNY, for strongholds over our area to be broken. That our region will be prepared to fulfill the destiny God has for her.
In summary, I believe we may not know what God has in store for WNY, but we know God has His eye on this region. I believe perhaps the next go around of churches coming together to simply Worship may be for 40 days and not 21. We may not know the details now. We do know and sense, there is an excitement rising in the Church at WNY, regarding God's plans and purposes for her future.