Local ministers association wants to embrace diversity

To the editor:

Recently, the pastors and members of the Henry County Ministers Association (HCMA) have noticed a lack of civil discourse in our relationships, news and online resources that does not always reflect the values we want to uphold. Thus, we want to share a model of how we live together with our diversity.

HCMA includes many different churches from the larger body of Christ. Each of us has different views based on our roles, functions and places as part of Christ's body. We vary theologically and politically. We don't agree on many of the hot topics dividing the nation. Yet, we agree that the best way to live together as neighbors is to put to work the Fruit of the Spirit.

When we gather together, each member acts intentionally to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We believe there is no law against such things. We want to emphasize to the community that our differences do not alienate us from one another. We pray together. We laugh together. We cry together. We live together in love. We hope that our gathering may be a model of civility and peace for our community, the nation and the world.

We also encourage others to make a commitment to speak, act and live with Christ?s love when interacting with all people, including those who may agree or disagree with us. Let the testimony of unity instead of division, love instead of hate, peace instead of violence, goodness instead of evil become the message that is proclaimed most loudly throughout our local communities, our country and around our world.



Ken Brown, of Mt. Pleasant; Rick Bunnell, of Mt. Pleasant; Jason Collier, of Crawfordsville; David Forrester, of Trenton; Tamara Gill, of Wayland; Aimee C Goldmeyer, of New London; Trey Hegar, of Mt. Pleasant; Jim Hughes, of Mt. Pleasant; Monte Knudsen, of Mt. Pleasant; Joy Lapp, of Mt. Pleasant; Jim Luder, of Dallas City, Ill.; Nathan Luitjens, of Olds; Rachelle Luitjens, of Olds; Jeffrey A. McPheron, of Mt. Pleasant; Randy L Moser, of Winfield; Fr. Joseph Phung, of Mt. Pleasant; Debra Savage, of Mt. Pleasant; Shirley Spray, of Mt. Pleasant; Regan Stoops, of Mt. Pleasant; Deborah Stowers, of Mt. Pleasant; Joe Telgren, of Mt. Pleasant; Gary Van Nyhuis, of Mt. Pleasant; and Mark Youngquist, of Swedesburg