The following letter was submitted to Smith County Insider by Howard Jarvis, Outreach Pastor – Living Water Ministries:
What is the Church Unity Picnic?
Several years ago, I felt the Lord moving in my life and reinforcing the importance of Church Unity. He did this in several ways: the movie, An Appalachian Dawn, through interactions and ministry with my fellow believers and the Holy Bible. Though the Lord will work in a single denomination, church, or person, I saw first hand how in ministry, when multiple denominations were involved, the Lord would bless the work. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matt 18:20 (KJV)
There are several examples of this in our community; including the Bridging the Gap court ministry, The Emmanuel House women’s shelter, and the Food Distribution at the Smith County Agricultural Center. The love of Jesus has impacted the lives of thousands through these interdenominational ministries. One reason these ministries are so powerful, is because they are supported by a multitude of churches, not just a single church.
The Word of God teaches that we should be one with Him and with one another. With this in mind, we would like to invite you to this year’s CUP event. In a county that has upwards of 150 churches for about 20K people, there is a lot of opportunity to celebrate the things we have in common with Christ as co-laborers for the Kingdom of God. In the spirit of His Love, let us come together sitting down to a meal to focus on our similarities.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17:20-23 (KJV)
The Church Unity Picnic has 3 Goals:
- To gather – In true fellowship, and His joy in one accord, relevant to the love and teachings of Jesus Christ.
- To minister – One to another, in humility and His love. -Reconciling the church.
- To give – To the body of Christ, useful program information, ministerial support and as needed, food, water, shelter and clothing.
The event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will have food, fellowship, opportunity to praise Jesus, and sermonettes.
All are welcome! Bring yourself, someone else and a covered dish and enjoy fellowship with “The Church”.
—Howard Jarvis | Outreach Pastor at Living Water Ministries