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Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday Mission Momen: Rural Ministry Coalition

"No preaching, no praying, no politics" is the by-word for the Rural Ministry Coalition that unites 7 congregations in a sparsely populated area of Michigan. Lutheran Chik sent the linked article to us, suggesting that this would be an interesting subject for the Monday Mission Moment.

She wrote:
One important aspect that the article did spotlight was that this ministry was a way for very theologically diverse churches -- representing every tradition from Community of Christ to Roman Catholic -- to work together; that the "no preaching, no proselytizing" mutual understanding between member churches allows them to concentrate on their common concern for human need instead of focusing on their differences.

Another point, that I think may be difficult for persons in suburban or urban areas to understand, is that the coalition works in an area that is very remote -- most of the member churches lie far away from even the modest communities that qualify as "cities" in rural Michigan. The residents are far away from their county seats, and because of location have to travel a distance to conduct any kind of work or business; and they're also in a kind of multi-county situation where their kids may go to school in one county, while their post office is in another county, while they pay their property taxes to another county -- in other words, it's hard to perceive oneself as belonging to anywhere in particular.

One of the things the coalition wants to do is to encourage a sense of community, of place, of belonging.
The Rural Ministry Coalition is a unique example of ecumenical cooperation across a broad geographic area that emphasizes cooperation instead of competition between the different faith traditions in order to build a sense of Christian community.

Many thanks to Lutheran Chik for her suggestion for February's Mission Moment! Please send your nominations for the March Mission Moment to me and PCIT by emailing us using the Mission Moment link in the sidebar.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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