United Churches of Lycoming is celebrating its 66th year as a vital part of our community. This is United Churches Sunday. Many local churches will take a special offering this month to help this wonderful ecumenical organization continue to help all people in our county.
There will be other opportunities to support United Churches. We are looking forward to our second golf tournament on Sept. 27. We would love to have even more golfers and sponsors and fun than last year when we raised $8,000-plus and had 108 golfers.
Later in the year, nationally known comedian Ken Davis is coming to town, and all profits will go to our Shepherd of the Streets Program. Davis performs on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Williamsport Area High School.
Why United Churches day, month and support throughout the year? While this area may be behind larger metropolitan areas in many ways, any pastor can quickly tell you that in ecumenical ministries, Lycoming County is way ahead of any other area. Ecumenical basically means working together. It applies to Christians coming together, realizing that what we have in common is far more important than how we differ.
United Churches also has an interfaith outreach with other faiths, including, among others, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. The important thing for United Churches is that we are willing to work together to improve the lives of all peoples.
Within United Churches we have the Shepherd of the Streets Program, our food pantry, campus ministry at Pennsylvania College of Technology, noon ecumenical lunches, CROP Walks, interfaith ministries, this weekly newspaper article, and so much more. Together we volunteer to lead 816 worship services every year at our local nursing homes, assisted living homes and prisons. We hold worship services for our community that lift up all our different religious traditions.
When there is an emergency, such as the flood last year, we are ready to respond within minutes. It usually takes only one phone call for us to take it from there. The system already is in place. There is a staff of six, and each works very hard, even after taking a 20 percent cut in salary a few years ago without cutting their work schedule much. They are dedicated to helping every person they can.
But we can't do it without YOU. We need YOU to tell us that we are indeed important and that our work is critical to this area. If you have been touched in some way by United Churches, or if you think you might need us sometime in the future, show us with a gift.
If you know of someone in a nursing home or prison and realize how important it is for God's word to reach them, show us with a gift.
If you have a child in college and know that it is critical to keep someone who represents God on a college campus, show us with a gift.
We do not have federal or state funding. We rely 100 percent on you and the congregations that support us. We want to be around for another 66 years, but we can't do it alone. Any amount will help.
United Churches is at 202 E. Third St., Williamsport, PA 17701. We have a website at www.uclc.org. With YOUR help, we will continue to make our community a more God-like place.
Weiss is the pastor of First Church of Christ (Disciples), Williamsport, and member of the United Churches Board of Directors.