Christ United Presbyterian Church
Marshall Area Ministerial Association
Last week every time I looked at news, there seemed to be a pastor making statements about national or world policy. It seems all it takes to be a religious authority these days is to have "pastor" somehow attached to your name and eagerness to advance an extreme position. In the real world, most pastors, priests and ministers have enough to do taking care of their people and community to seek out media attention. In this community, every day ministers put faith into action responding to local needs without publicity and fanfare.
The Marshall Area Ministerial Association (MAMA) is a voluntary association of area ministers who covenant to work together to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to care for our community with compassion. Through MAMA and the involved churches, people in need - regardless of their religion or membership status - are provided with food, transportation, emergency assistance and whenever possible connections to long-term sustainable support. More importantly perhaps, we provide a listening presence in the midst of difficult situations and a sense of hope for the future. Through faithful stewardship of the money given for our Human Compassion fund, MAMA cares for our community. As committed followers of Jesus, he taught us that what we do for those in need, we do for Him.
When tragedy strikes, such as the Lakeview bus crash, and the painful series of deaths of young people, MAMA quickly steps in to provide immediate spiritual support and on going care to families, schools and first responders. Avera Marshall Hospital Volunteer Chaplain services are also provided through trained and accredited ministers in MAMA.
MAMA is grateful for the on-going support of the United Way, as well as the community support received primarily through the offering taken at our annual Thanksgiving Eve service. That ecumenical service always features a variety of inspiring music. It is a grateful celebration of the love and blessings that unite us, even in the midst of our differences.
Donations to the Human Compassion Fund may be made at any time and are particularly needed this year in response to the significant increase in crisis requests. Donations may be made through local churches designated for MAMA or may be mailed to 1600 E. College Drive Marshall C/O MAMA.
MAMA also hosts the longstanding Soup and Sermon series each Wednesday noon during Lent. Warm soup, warmer smiles and a short encouraging message provide a much-needed time when residents can slow down to share a meal and hear the Word together.
When I first came to Marshall, I thought MAMA was a funny name for a group of men! This year I am honored to serve as president. MAMA meets monthly for prayer and support, but most of our work is done each and every day - quietly and confidentially - often on behalf of those who are not members of any church. As leaders who are committed to shalom - the health, wholeness and peace of our whole community - we don't seek out controversy, but strive instead to work together. We don't agree about every issue, but we know that we are united as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is blessing to put our faith into action through the Marshall Area Ministerial Association.