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Friday, May 6, 2016

Churches unite for a cause

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lay Leaders of the United Methodist Church North Clay Cluster Bill and Judy Cowell stand with 4-H Council President Dianna Knox (left) outside the Hospitality building at the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds. Knox is helping area UMC churches have a place to worship for the special service during the fair, July 17, at 10 a.m. Jessica Murray Photo. [Order this photo]
Nine area churches invite community members to share in the unity of the first North Clay Cluster of the United Methodist Churches (UMC) service Sunday, July 17, at 10 a.m.

"We want to use the resources of all the churches for the betterment of everyone," Lay Leader (non-ministerial church helper) of the North Clay Cluster Bill Cowell told The Brazil Times.

The UMC cluster's service will take place in the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds Hospitality Building.

"We do live in a fairly church-going community, and we thought it would be nice to offer a service on the fairgrounds during the fair," 4-H Council President Dianna Knox said.

The service will include performances by the musical group P150 and all monies collected in the offering plate will be given to Serving on the Streets (S.O.S.).

"The purpose of this service is to show each other the unity of the United Methodist Church. There will be seven ministers involved," Cowell said.

The churches involved include Lena UMC and Harmony UMC, pastored by Terry Jeffers, Staunton UMC and Knightsville UMC, pastored by Scott Aselage, Wesley Chapel Church, pastored by Randy Dragan, Bethel UMC, pastored by Ernie Rush, Carbon UMC, pastored by Richard Pressel, Epworth UMC, pastored by Greg Putmann and Peniel UMC, pastored by Richard Pippen.

"The service isn't going to be just about Harmony United Methodist Church or Bethel United Methodist Church. We're all in this together," Cowell explained. "What can we do better together, that we can't do apart?"

Cowell said each pastor plays an important part in the service such as taking up offering or saying a special prayer.

Dragan will give the opening address, and Pippen will deliver the message titled "The Living Christ" which will focus on scriptures Acts 2:42-47.

Expected attendance is more than 300 people if 70 percent of church members and all interested 4-H members attend.

The service coincides with aspects of the UMC mission statement, which includes making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, supporting each other in churches and ministries and sharing in ministry and fellowship with one another.

Fairgrounds officials say they expect the service to become a tradition.

"We're always listening to the community to try to improve the fair and keep it going," Knox said. "We will continue to offer a church service."

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