October 22, 2009
Growing Ministries Through a Growing Alliance of Scotland County Churches
by Jack Sumption and Dan Hite
It was a quiet start to a new season for the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance when Pastors, Preachers and representatives from several congregations gathered at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in September.
For me, (Jack Sumption) it was an opportunity to reflect on the growth and health of the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance (S.C.M.A.). I can think back several years when the Alliance was comprised of only a few churches and few activities.
Today, the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance enjoys the participation of several more congregations and the opportunity to minister to people’s needs in so many ways.
Let me share a glimpse of the blessings that are ours because congregations across Scotland County are willing to share a common vision through the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance.
We continue to coordinate Good Friday services for our Churches and a Thanksgiving Celebration for our community.
We continue to provide financial assistance to help residents from Scotland County with a variety of monetary needs.
We continue to provide a night’s lodging and a meal for those who may be passing through our County and need such assistance.
In recent years, we have been able to provide more meaningful ministry to the community because a number of Scotland County Churches are working together through the Alliance.
An effective food distribution ministry is now in place and serving approximately 200 families monthly.
A “Clothes Closet” provides a venue for families and individuals to meet clothing needs.
The Alliance Pastors, Preachers, Ministers and Representatives are involved in ministry among many volunteers who need to hear and respond to the Gospel.
These same people are available to provide spiritual guidance and week by week providing Bible teaching to those who are being treated at the Scotland County Memorial Hospital.
The Alliance recently partnered with the American Red Cross to provide volunteer support in the event of any kind of disaster to which the Red Cross would respond.
We are able to provide support to our local social services departments.
We have an important working relationship with other community ministries like the Scotland County Youth Association and the Memphis Area Pregnancy Care Center.
Just this past year, we established “Alliance Aid” to raise funds during the Christmas holidays to help fund our benevolent ministries.
We would like to thank those individuals and community groups that gave generously of their time and money for the much needed renovations to the Clothes Closet this past year. Looking to the year ahead, the S.C.M.A. is considering a project that could expand our ministry at the “Food Pantry.” Once again, it will require a community effort. An offer has been made to help the Food Pantry with more space to store items that need to remain frozen or cooled between delivery and distribution. Some discussion has been given to a plan that would provide us more space for food storage and floor space that we might receive more food and give more room for the actual distribution process. Proposed plans for this new space will be presented at the annual Thanksgiving Community Service.
The S.C.M.A. is comprised of “Fellow ministers and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Our focus is on the common bond we share as children of God through Jesus and the ministry He gave us for reaching the lost. Our purpose is “To provide meaningful times of spiritual enrichment and encouragement through community events and acts of benevolence.”
We appreciate the congregations and volunteers that actively participate in the work of the S.C.M.A. We have been able to do so much more collectively than any one of our churches could do individually. We invite any and all congregations around Scotland County to join us in our ambitions to minister to our community in the name of Christ.