If Churches Can't Get Along, What Hope Is There for the World?
October 14, 2010
Pinole UMC bears powerful witness after 120 years
By the Rev. Linda Prendergast
It's true: Churches are a microcosm of society, with many different people of many different ethnicities and cultures, and many beliefs and doctrines. And we sometimes disagree with each other over particulars. But truly, this is the time when people of faith – of all faiths – must come together and begin turning this nosedive of hope around.
Celebrating 120 years of Methodist presence in the greater Pinole/Hercules area, the Pinole United Methodist Church is dedicating the weekend of October 22-24 (we first met as the Pinole Community Methodist Church on October 23, 1890) to service and connection as people of God, to and for the people of God.
Friday evening October 22, beginning at 7:30, we will celebrate together in a service of praise. Joining the Pinole United Methodist Church joint praise band will be the three other congregations which meet in our facilities: The Apostolic Church of Faith in Jesus Christ, a Latino congregation led by Pastor Gilberto; The House of Prayer, a Pentecostal congregation led by Sister Ellen; and The United Pentecostal Church, a Filipino congregation led by Pastor Elgie Griffin. In addition, we will be joined by the praise bands from St. Joseph's and St. Patrick's Catholic churches, and St. Trinity Baptist Church of Rodeo.
On Saturday, we will again combine our resident congregations in serving the community. There will be Intercessory Prayer in our Sanctuary from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and seven different mission/service projects going on:
- Making sandwiches and lunch bags for immigrant workers
- Assembling Health Kits to be sent to Haiti
- Assembling K-9 Kits for war dogs and their handlers in Afghanistan
- Re-roofing the Share Manna Basket Food Pantry
- Volunteering at GRIP: Reading and interacting with the children
- Volunteering at Opportunity West, in Richmond – connecting and beginning mentoring relationships with youth
- Working on home/yard clean-up and fix-up (one or two homes of disabled or disadvantaged persons)
On Sunday morning we will worship God in a glorious joint worship service beginning at 11 a.m. with Dave Thompson, former PUMC pastor, preaching, and former pastors in attendance. A brass band will accompany our hymns, our Silangan Ringers Bell Choir will perform, and we will give thanks to God for our past 120 years and our future 120 years of service.
We will celebrate afterward with a potluck and tri-tip barbecue.
In a time when the world seems pitted against each other, it is so important to be uniting with Christian brothers and sisters in praise and worship of the Lord, and in service and mission to the community. In fact, I am hopeful that this event will be only the first of many multi-faith events in the future.
We are most excited about our day of mission, when we will be the church outside the walls, and live out our faith in real and impactful ways.
The United Methodist Church has a long history of concern for and action in social justice and welfare – and for many years Pinole UMC has provided facilities for community organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Pinole Artisans, groups offering educational workshops, and other non-profit organizations (including other churches).
The people of the Pinole United Methodist Church reach out to the community and the world in service, from volunteering in local schools, libraries, the Share Manna Basket food program, the Richmond Rescue Mission, GRIP, etc., to providing our facilities in times of emergency or need for group housing, overseas through direct volunteer mission in such countries as the Philippines, and supporting United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the United Methodist body which responds to world disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti. [Rev. Prendergast and her husband, Bob, will go on mission with UMCOR in February, working on continued clearing of rubble and preparing for new building.]
PUMC strives to live out the United Methodist motto of Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors, and purposes all its work toward Loving God, Loving Others, and Serving.
Pinole United Methodist Church is located at 2000 San Pablo Avenue, Pinole, CA 94564. Plan your journey to the PUMC 120th anniversary weekend celebration by visiting the Pinole UMC page on the Conference website and using the built-in Google Maps feature!
[Editor's Note: View video from a joint service of the Pentecostal, United Methodist, Church of Christ, and Apostolic Church of The Faith in Jesus Christ at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7NJWpN6_c0.]