UMC Cooperative Ministry Meeting
May 21, 2016
Attendance: Jim Reim (First); Chris Paul (Lakewood); Mary Stewart (Henderson-San Juan); Mary Adams (Henderson); Margaret Harrison (Henderson); Nels Sandberg (Kingsley); Harold Blair (Kingsley); Linda Albertson (Kingsley); Dale Davison (Kingsley); Shirley Deemer (Glenwood); Matt Judd (Glenwood); Jeff Boss (Asbury)
Meeting opened with introductions and prayer at 9:00am
We have identified two needs – how we build relationships with each other (churches) and how we build relationships with our neighbors (community). The African concept of “chabadza” (mutually beneficial relationships) was raised up as our model.
With our community - Church/School relationships were discussed as a way of connecting with our neighborhoods. Current relationships of some form include: First (Strong Vincent); Lakewood (Tracy Elemetary); Kingsley (Emerson-Gridley Elementary); Glenwood (Roosevelt Middle). Henderson/San Juan has none because their neighborhood school was closed and children are bused to 3 different schools.
With our churches - We must work at building relationships among the churches (with or without special programming/projects). There is some level of distrust among the churches primarily because many are in “survival mode” and also because of previous history with enforced “top-down” directives that forced collaboration.
Part of collaboration is finding ways to connect our churches to the needs of each other. Henderson highlighted a need for tables for their food pantry and a new roof for their ministry building (or strategic planning on whether to keep that building or not and/or how to work more closely with San Juan, who has an operational ministry center in good shape). They also noted that they have almost no voice in their area (except for Sonya Arrington) in the political process, almost no professionals in their congregation, etc). How can other churches resource them with the intellectual capital and influence to leverage their ministry in their neighborhood?
Areas where we can work together:
1. Cooperative prayer walks in our neighborhoods – to meet residents and get a better look at the actual conditions around our buildings
2. Unified Erie emphasis – pooling our financial resources to use the branding of the upcoming religiosity campaign for our local churches
3. Pulpit and pew exchange – on a Sunday where we have pastors preach in another church, also take a percentage of the congregation along (to build relationships)
4. Coordinated Bible studies in the fall – publicize the list of non-Sunday school classes/studies being offered among the churches, allowing for a diversity/multiplicity of discipleship opportunities for our people.
Next meeting – Saturday, June 18 9-11am at Kingsley (913 Cranberry Street)
Respectfully submitted - Matt Judd
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