Mt. Pleasant Ministerium active in community
The Mt. Pleasant Ministerium represents a union of 12 local churches of all dominations.
Regardless of the dominations and doctrine, they are all in full agreement as to their mission statement.
“We strive to become a united voice for Christ,” according to the statement, “and an encouragement for one another and a ministry tool in our neighborhood.”
Pastor David Greer of Norvelt Union Church is president of the ministerium.
The ministerium is proud to announce, as of January, a new addition to the ministry — the Trauger Mennonite Church.
“I just stopped by and asked them to join,” Greer said with a chuckle.
Since its start in 1999, the ministerium has seen its share of highs and lows regarding participation and attendance.
According to Greer, who joined in 2007 and became president in 2009, the ministerium has became popular over the past five years with the Lenten lunches being their most popular event.
“It happened when all the churches became comfortable with each other and a brotherhood was formed,” said the 48-year-old pastor.
The ministry is currently going on their third Lenten lunch week and have already seen 220 attendees.
“The first year, we only saw about 50 to 60 people,” Greer said. “The lunches have brought some real excitement to the religious community.”
Greer recently explained the ministerium's overall goal.
“Our main purpose is to raise funds in our own churches and collect canned goods to donate to the Mt. Pleasant Good Samaritan Center,” he said. “That's really how this (ministerium) all started.”
The Lenten lunches, Greer explained, helped them achieve this goal.
While the lunches are free and open to the public, donation boxes are placed at each table with emphasis on donating nonperishable canned goods.
Due to the surge in attendance, Greer is considering changes for the next year. Currently, each church is issued a specific week and is responsible for sponsoring lunches for that week. But this may be financially difficult for small churches.
Greer's own church is an example.
As a result, he intends to pool the ministerium's resources in the years to come.
“If someone falls short on bread or cake,” he said, “We (ministerium) will step in and help them out.”
The Lenten lunches may be the most popular event, but it is not the only one.
The ministerium also holds Good Friday and Thanksgiving services, and in the summer, help sponsor Christian camp trips for local children.
“We also host both a National Day of Prayer service the first Thursday each May and a 9/11 prayer service every year,” Greer added.
As for upcoming events, the ministerium will be holding a planning meeting at 7 p.m. April 25 at the Good Samaritan Center.
The free, public meeting will include an open discussion on new ministerium events.
“We want input from everyone,” said Greer. “From pastors to lay people.”
The planning meeting will mark the ministerium's first meeting in the Good Samaritan Center.
The dates vary based on the schedules of each of the ministry's pastors.
Andrew Hesner is a freelance writer.