The second in a series of articles focusing on outreach and evangelism, written by members of the NJ District's Outreach Council. This month's article is written by the Rev. Michael Dunne, from Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Montville, NJ.
Many of our congregations in the NJ district are facing a similar problem. For most congregations, it is a twofold problem of aging members and diminishing resources. However, that does not excuse us from the mission of the church to bring the love of Christ through the Gospel to the lost.
More than ever it is increasingly difficult to reach out to the lost within our communities in a meaningful way. There too few hands, feet and dollars to make any kind of significant impact within our communities. Not to mention many of those feet need walkers and canes just to get around. So, it comes down to the question of what can we do with the resources we have to offer. The answer to that question may very well be, Don’t Go It Alone.
We are not the only denomination experiencing diminishing numbers and resources and finding it difficult to reach out with the love of Christ to our communities. Instead of having 2 or 3 people working on an outreach event wouldn’t be nice to have 15 or 20? Here at Holy Spirit in Montville, we have been participating with other Christians in a new program called, "Every One in Action for the Community” (EAC).
We meet every month along with other local congregations to serve the community in some meaningful way. There are usually 2 or 3 from our congregation who participate, along with as many as 30 other Christians. At one of our service gatherings we made 400 sandwiches for the Homeless Bus, a ministry here in Montville! At another we put together packets with information and locations of the different Houses of Worship for the local Welcome Wagon. This month EAC will participate in a One Montville event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As part of this event the local houses of worship will be open to the public. The Montville Reformed Church will host the EAC member churches and we will be displaying the Martin Luther 500th Anniversary Exhibit.
There is strength in numbers. More people and more financial resources equals more people being reached. Don’t Go It Alone. There are other congregations just like yours who want to reach out to their communities in a meaningful way.
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