As a part of this series, here on our devotionals page I am going to add a variety of articles about how we and other churches are working and serving together to be a blessing #ForOurCity.
I could be wrong, but I do not think there has ever before been a project of this sort that has gained such widespread support and participation in our church community. For the 22 years I have been in Hagerstown, I have not seen anything quite like this.
The genesis of this sermon series effort was in a regular monthly luncheon gathering of pastors back in the spring of this year. A conversation ensued upon the topic of what we could do jointly to address the heroin epidemic in our area that creates so many pervasive problems. One of the brothers remarked that about a decade ago a number of churches (including TSF) did a joint sermon series to address the teen pregnancy issue in our region. Ideas began to fly about how to do this and include it within a wider biblical context. A movement was born.
Bill Wyand of Broadfording Brethren Church is the functional leader of this group, though he was on a missions trip and missed this luncheon meeting. I emailed him a heads-up about the discussion, reflecting on challenges of the previous effort, while also suggesting some important contingencies I believed valuable for a successful campaign – including that it be widely supported by the leading churches in the county, opining also that Chris Wiles’ gift for teaching and research be a central part of the planning.
Several meetings were held at TSF in the late spring and early summer that included a number of pastors gathering to give foundation for the varied ideas. Chris Wiles and Patrick Grach (of LifeHouse Church) agreed to do a bulk of the planning, with Patrick committing the resources of his ministry to produce a variety of support tools in technology, marketing, etc. Dates were set, and here we are doing it together.
You have likely heard that there are 24 churches and organizations partnering in this endeavor. I would suspect that many of you have had Christian friends and co-workers who attend other churches talking about the participation of their congregation as well. A number of churches beyond the immediate and regular fellowship of our evangelical pastors group also heard about this effort and have thrown in as well.
Here are the ministries that are partnering in this wide endeavor …
- Broadfording Bible Brethren Church – west of Hagerstown, site of Broadfording Christian School
- Bridge of Life – South Potomac Street, downtown
- Celebrate Recovery Hagerstown – Friday night ministry on North Potomac
- Christ’s Reformed Church – Franklin Street just west of downtown – home of REACH
- Church of the Holy Trinity UCC – Oak Ridge DR, Halfway
- Christ Community Church – Mapleville RD, Boonsboro
- Covenant Life Church – Dual Highway, east of Hagerstown
- Faith Christian Fellowship – east of Williamsport
- Faith Worship Ministries – Oak Ridge DR, Hagerstown
- Family Life Ministry AME Church – Leitersburg Pike
- Hagerstown Christian Church – Linganore AVE, Hagerstown
- Hagerstown Foursquare Church – meet on N. Pennsylvania AVE
- Hilltop Christian Fellowship – National Pike just east of Clear Spring
- Hub City Vineyard – Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown
- Kingdom Ecclesia Ministries – North Cannon AVE, Hagerstown
- Lifehouse Church – Wilson BLVD / Leitersburg Pike
- Maugansville Bible Brethren – Maugansville
- New Hope Alliance Church – Williamsport
- New Life World Ministries – Frederick Street, Hagerstown
- Andrew’s United Methodist Church – Maryland AVE, Hagerstown
- Mark’s Lutheran Church – Washington AVE, Hagerstown
- Tri-State Fellowship – Cearfoss Pike
- Vision Quest Ministries – N. Pennsylvania AVE
- Valley Grace Brethren – Halfway
That is quite a list, including a wide variety of denominations, cultures and traditions. But we are better together, and together is the only effective way we can be God’s people to serve our city and its communities well.