I have been a part of this community for almost seven months now and have truly enjoyed getting to know the residents and clergy in Sheridan.
I am impressed with how churches are working together in many local ecumenical programs. One that I really appreciate is the “Lunch Together” program. This is a feeding ministry that invites different churches and groups to cook and serve lunch for an entire week.
It is a wonderful meal program that gives organizations the opportunity to connect with the community and with each other. It has been around for many years and was birthed out of the Ministerial Association. It is such a wonderful way for churches and groups to tag-team a need in Sheridan. I personally enjoy having a meal at Lunch Together.
Another is the “Lessons and Carols” Christmas service. It was a nice community Christmas service with scripture reading and beautiful music, and there was standing room only.
I had the privilege of reading a passage of scripture during the service and really enjoyed it. It is wonderful to worship together like this, and I am looking forward to next year and hope to be a part of the service again.
It is so inspiring to see pastors and churches working together instead of arguing over who has the right theology. When we can lay aside our differences and do ministry as one body, it gives us a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God looks like. When we can work together to build up our community and world it demonstrates what Paul was talking about, in 1 Corinthians 12. He called it the Body of Christ.
The world changes when we work together and use the gifts and graces that God has given us to finish the work that Christ started. We don’t have to agree on everything, but I believe that it is important that we focus on the task at hand and put our differences aside. Christ has sent us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, welcome the stranger and visit the prisoner.
This task might seem too large to do on our own, but thankfully we are not alone! God has given us the gifts and the comrades to do this work.
I look forward to finding even more ways for us to work together to make our community and world a better place.
Jim Barth is pastor at First United Methodist Church.