Pastor's Ponderings

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Pastor's Ponderings

On Sunday, Deacon Julie, Pastor Sullivan, Pastor Ken and I met several other Calvary Church friends and about 250+ others on the steps of ERUCC to declare our response to the Alt-right, white supremacy protests that took place on Saturday in Charlottesville. We were glad to join with others to say that hate has no place here in our community. I hope that as a community of faith, Calvary Church might take the lead in fostering mutual understanding and work across the racial lines that so often have divided us from one another. 
 
Something I read this summer struck me as particularly troubling. It identified three main factors that continue to make race a divisive issue in this country. First, most white Americans continue to live in locales that insulate them from the obstacles facing many majority-black communities.  Second, the overwhelming majority of white Americans don’t have a single close relationship with a person who isn’t white. And third, there are virtually no American institutions positioned to resolve these persistent problems of systemic and social segregation.  Although churches tend to be highly segregated on Sunday morning, we can work on building friendship and partnerships across different churches so that we can begin to see more of our unity than our division.
 
I am glad that we have started (once again) a practice of working with Asbury United Methodist Church and I look forward to the ways that both congregations can benefit from the connection. I am reminded of the song that in our hymnal
“In Christ, there is no east or west,
in him no north or south,
but one great fellowship of love,
throughout the whole wide earth.”
 
We ourselves may not be able to make this happen, but we know the One who can. It begins with you and me.

See you in church.

Pastor Steve

Pastor's Ponderings

Pastor Pondering- July 31, 2017

Update on Cooperative Parish plans

On Wednesday, July 26 there was an opportunity for members of Centennial Memorial and Calvary Church to meet and discuss our cooperative parish relationship.  Twenty souls were present.  It was a healthy and open conversation.

There are lots of benefits have that have come to the two congregations since the relationship was begun in 2010.  These include shared worship experiences, mission trips, more involvement of Calvary people in the ministries of 2nd Street and Hope and each congregation helping the other as hosts for the Emergency Family Shelter.  Both churches benefit from the work and leadership of Rev Julie Wilson.  It is clear however, that all the good parts of this current relationship can continue on even if we chose to change the formal designation of the relationship between the congregations.

Centennial Memorial has asked that there be a redefinition.  The idea is that the two churches would no longer be a "Cooperative Parish" for conference billing and appointment purposes.  Each congregation would have its own independent status as was the case prior to 2011.  We can keep a good relationship in place, while each church would have greater independence.  This seemed like a good arrangement to those who were present of July 26.

The next step will be to have the Bishop and Cabinet act on this request.  If they approve of this change, it will also be voted on at each of the church's change conference in the fall.  We can continue to work together in many ways that benefit the larger body of Christ.  At the same time, each church will have a greater sense of ownership and decision-making authority about how they will carry out the ministry.

See you in church,

Pastor Steve

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