Four and a half years ago (in December 2010), Edensburg Lutheran Church in Malmo and Alma Lutheran Church in Mead partnered together to form M&M Ministries. While each church remains its own entity, the two congregations share resources (including a pastor—ME). One of the internal goals set before me, upon being called to serve these two churches, was to strengthen the churches’ mutual relationship. The question posed in my mind as I thought about this ongoing task was: How do we move from a mechanical partnership, bound by the common pastor, to a more organic relationship, where we are worshipping and serving together as sister churches in the name of Jesus Christ? Brainstorming with others in both congregations, it was clear that we wanted to assist the ongoing work of local organizations—people and places who help care for others in our county and surrounding areas. The image of a meal—sharing together and serving others—is a deeply biblical image that made sense to what we felt called to do in this joint ministry. From this, would flow our (and hopefully the community’s) generosity in supporting others who care for the least and lowly.
The goal with this shared ministry is not to raise money for ourselves, but to give it away for others; not to bring in new members, but to point toward the One through whom we live, worship, and serve; not to be closed off as a private place, but to open ourselves (and the eyes and ears of others) to the needs of our shared community. Last year, relationships were formed, hungry bellies were filled, and exceeding generosity was demonstrated as we raised $1,000.00 to be split among three different organizations. My hope and prayer this year is that we can build more new relationships with one another, be filled yet again with delicious food, and increase our generosity in the ministry of mutuality. Save yourself the trouble of cooking dinner this Sunday and come out for what will be a holy meal—filling the stomachs and hearts of many more people than you can imagine! We appreciate your help in furthering this ministry that marks our churches’ ongoing relationship of mutual worship and service. May we be blessed in our gathering, filled in our eating together, and faithful in our serving one another—all in the name of Jesus, the Risen Lord.