By Kristen Partin, Director of Older Children's Ministries at First UMC Tupelo
Photo right: A hot air balloon towered over the crowd that came out for the joint festival.
A joint venture during the 2012 Trunk-or-Treat Festival has grown into an ecumenical partnership between four downtown churches in Tupelo, Mississippi, that continues to thrive. This partnership crosses theological, physical, and racial barriers in a united effort to be the Church and promote unity within our community.
On Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, members from First United Methodist Church, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, All Saints' Episcopal Church, and First Presbyterian Church gathered at Robins Field in Tupelo for their third fellowship gathering. From the chicken and hot dogs, to the live music and bounce castles for the children, to the hot air balloon rides for anyone willing, the fun and excitement at the gathering attracted those living in the neighborhood and people driving in the area. Folks greeted each other across the field, laughter dominated the evening and everyone was welcomed, regardless of where they lived or attended church.
The four churches involved in this partnership are committed to building and fostering the relationships between the churches and to continuously look for ways to build each other up and support each other. Yes, they are all already making plans for next year!
"Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. Let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us cheer each other up with words of hope. Let us do it all the more as you see the day coming when Christ will return." (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIRV)