Holy Bono: Local Churches to Hold "U2charist" 

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Matthew, Mark, Luke and … Bono?

The same four guys usually get to weigh in on proper Christian ethics, but this week two local churches will hold a special joint worship service set to the music of Irish rock band U2. They're calling the service "U2charist."

"Anybody who knows U2's music knows it's infused with messages about global reconciliation, justice for the poor and oppressed, and Jesus' call to care for our neighbor," says Abbott Bailey, a priest at St. Stephen's who's helping to organize the event. The service will be held at 7 p.m. on June 21 at Holy Comforter on Monument Avenue.

The "U2charist" follows the traditional Episcopal Eucharist. Instead of hymns, though, participants will meditate on two dozen U2 tracks, including radio favorites "Mysterious Ways," "Beautiful Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday." A video slide-show flashing images of African villagers whom church members met on past mission trips to the continent will play throughout. Organizers found the lyrics from the song "One" from the Grammy-winning 1991 album "Achtung Baby" particularly evocative.

U2 has won more Grammys than any other rock band. When they're not busy scooping up awards, the band turns its attention to humanitarian issues. Bono has been a strong supporter of the Millennium Development Goals, which focus on ending poverty and stamping out AIDS.

Organizers say that all donations collected at the "U2charist" will be donated to programs that help meet the aims of the Millennium Development Goals. S

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