Churches Launch Joint Website

A new website has been created to provide information about East Petersburg's churches, resources, and faith. The website, http://www.EastPetersburgChurches.com, is a collaborative effort from the members of the East Petersburg Ministers' Meet-Up. This group represents Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, East Petersburg Mennonite Church, Trinity United Church of Christ, Grace Evangelical Congregational Church, Open Door Mission Pentecostal, and Hempfield Church of the Brethren.

These six churches call the various neighborhoods of East Petersburg home, many of them for longer than the borough has officially existed. Each congregation has a unique view of church life and theology; however, despite the differences that shape their churches, many of the pastors and leaders get together on the last Thursday of the month to pray and work together. They call this gathering the "East Petersburg Ministers' Meet-Up."

"We desire collaboration together and not competition," said East Petersburg Ministers' Meet-Up facilitator Jeff McLain. "We believe that Jesus taught us in Matthew 22:36-40 to love Him with all of our hearts and to love our neighbors."

The group typically meets at local restaurants in order to support the eateries' roles in the community. The gatherings usually feature guest speakers from outside ministries and organizations who provide information about resources as well as training on being better neighbors. Links to these groups' websites are included on http://www.EastPetersburgChurches.com.

The group has been meeting for quite a few years and has had several different leaders, but recently the members have made more intentional efforts to bring in outside resources and speakers to shape their time together, McLain noted. "Many people don't believe churches of different backgrounds can work together, so our Meet-Up and website are some of our efforts to counteract that misconception," he said. "At the heart of all of these churches, they desire to follow Jesus. Their hope is that you explore these churches and consider trying one of them out in your own faith journey."

McLain added that the collaboration does not end with a website and a coffee klatch.

"We are already dreaming up other ways of following Jesus in our neighborhoods," McLain pointed out. "Overall, East Petersburg is experiencing a rebirth of sorts. It's quickly becoming a home to various music festivals, carnivals, and celebrations. It seems timely that the pastors are partnering in the buzz and helping to shape new life in this nice place to live."

For more information about the Ministers' Meet-Up and the churches in the area, folks may visit the new website. Those who would like to give a presentation about their organization may email McLain at jeffreymclain@gmail.com.

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