Church For Share

In this post covid season of ministry, many churches have closed their doors or are languishing in the shadows of their “yesteryear” realities. Our church has had its share of struggles seeking to restart and regroup after such a long and arduous season of loss. But the good news is, we are still here. We are open to innovating, flexing, and seeking new paths for our timeless truths of faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

Instead of having to put up a sign that says, “Church For Sale,” we are deciding to put up a sign that says, “Church For Share!” The truth is, the more we work together as the body of Christ, the stronger and more fruitful we become as a whole. Sharing across church traditions and denominational lines will make us more resilient and energized for ministry. Helping each other succeed is to help the kingdom of God expand!

Sharing space is never a cake walk and many bodies living in one house means expressing family courtesy as well as mutual commitments to gettign along well with each other. OHFUMC recently entered into a shared facility agreement with the new church start “Riverflow.” This outreach ministry began at Grace By The Sea Anglican church and has outgrown its space. They will begin holding weekend worship services on our campus starting Saturday, August 19th . They will worship at 5:30 pm and then share a meal in Centennial Hall at 7:00 pm. This will be their regular weekly cycle.

Pastor Man Rayapureddy and his wife Priscilla are church planters who harken from the
country of India. He is a part of my Wednesday morning Pastor’s support group and Priscilla one preached for us here when I was working a Walk to Emmaus. I will look forward to introducing them to us again in a future Sunday morning service. I hope you will also consider popping in on one of the Saturday night worship services to experience their church family and foster goodwill between our congregations.
Here are a few helpful reminders of how we can build bridges to help kingdom hospitality thrive in our relationship. 
1. Personally introduce yourself to Pastor Mani and his church members when they are among us.
2. Remember that this is God’s house and not our house. God wants all people worshipping    here, not just some people.
3. Diversity strengthens us. Different churches have different music styles, preaching styles and customs and traditions.
4. All people are beautiful and need to be warmly welcomed as if they are spiritual siblings and close family.
5. Participate in any joint ventures we hope to have down the road and see these as opportunities to grow, learn, love, and serve.
6. Attend their service one time (or many times) and learn to feast on different kinds of “worship food.”
7. Understand that more feet means more footprints and so more added cleaning. This is a good thing, and so is extra cleaning.
8. Pastor Mani will be using Erin’s old office as his office space. Please respect that space for his privacy if in a meeting, but please also make him feel warmly greeted and celebrated by you if the door is open.
9. The Trustees will be closely monitoring this relationship and the financial and facility impact for any necessary adjustments as the months go by.
10. If you become aware of any concerns or problems, please talk directly to myself or the Trustees Chair (Bob Wallin) as we seek to establish positive pathways for constructive solutions to any concern that may arise.
Remember, one of our five guiding values is “RADICAL HOSPITALITY.” Let’s do our best to “roll out the red carpet” and give a grand welcome to our guests.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor”

Ecclesiastes 4:9 NIV
Pastor David :-)

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