By Will Jewsbury, First Christian Church, Kokomo, Becky Sundquist, South Side Christian Church and Chuck Armstrong, Northview Christian Church
Shared ministry programs do far more than ease the burden on a few overworked leaders. They remind us that we are part of a great fellowship of Disciples in our own communities and beyond. For Kokomo Disciples we are fortunate to have three vital congregations in close proximity who can work and serve together.
Ash Wednesday: The cooks at South Side Christian Church are turning out pancakes and sausage for the crowd. But those gathered for the combination Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday meal and worship are not just those who call the building their church home. Others have come as well; brothers and sisters from Northview Christian and First Christian enjoy the meal and fellowship, and then gather in the sanctuary where leaders from all three congregations lead worship to invite all into the beginning of Lent.
Saturday: Some of the same people, again from these sister congregations, have arrived to put the finishing touches on a Habitat house for Kyle and her children. It has been a long project, but a faithful few representing both First and South Side have been there throughout turning a run-down house into a warm, safe home.
Tuesday: Children are piling into a bus to head for Connor Prairie and a hot air balloon ride. The children wear matching t-shirts proclaiming “Oh, the Places God Goes!” The t-shirts are the same, but the children come from two of the three Kokomo, Ind. Disciples congregations. They and their leaders are experiencing a shared summer travel program that is all the more vital because it brings them together from across the community.
Sunday: The three congregations are meeting for worship in their own spaces. But because of Wednesday, Saturday, and Tuesday they realize they are not alone at the Table of our Lord. They sense the presence of their brothers and sisters within the community and around the world.
Others find such connection across denominational boundaries and even county lines. It is true that “we are the church together.” Thanks be to God for brothers and sisters in faith to challenge, support and care for one another.