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Ministerial Association seeks unity in the community

By Brittany Fuller

brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com

The Jessamine County Ministerial Association serves many purposes in the county, the most important of which is working together to make the community stronger.

“Thomas Merton, a trappist monk who lived in Kentucky, said if it weren’t for all the monks and nuns who pray, the Earth would fall off its axis,” the Rev. Carol Devine, pastor of Providence Christian Church, said. “On the first day of school, we came together to pray for the students and teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors, office staff, school board, etc. We all need people who pray for us.”

JCMA currently has 22 churches or organizations represented within their group and meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month in the second-story space above J’s Place, located at 101 S. Main St.

Membership is $10 a year, and all pastors or leaders of community programs are invited to join. Last month, the group had its meeting to gather in prayer for the new school year in Jessamine County.

“We invite organizations to come and present what they are doing and ministers also to share what they know is going on,” Devine said. “When people work together, the community is stronger.”

A few of the ways JCMA is involved in the community include the Jessamine County Food Pantry, Holy Week, where an offering is donated to a Jessamine County charity; the Jessamine County Homeless Coalition, prayer for county magistrates and city commission meetings, worship at the Jessamine County Senior Citizen Center, sponsoring a table at the Taste of Jessamine, involvement with the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce, providing a support network for pastors and praying for the community at monthly meetings.

The JCMA also received a $20,000 donation in the past from a previous flood in Jessamine County which the group invested in the Bluegrass Community Foundation.

Max Vanderpool, the lead pastor at Generations Community Church, said the group is important to the community for two reasons. For one, Vanderpool said, people currently live in an age of anger and division. Secondly, the JCMA has not only identified but helped start needed community resources in the county, such as the Jessamine County Food Pantry.

“The JCMA, however, represents what can happen when people come together and work to make our community better and stronger,” Vanderpool said. “Like many things in our community, (JCMA) pre-dates all of us currently involved.”

Devine said although some pastors in the community are bi-vocational and cannot make the JCMA regular meetings, the group still desires to be connected to them. Devine’s hope is every pastor of a church in the community can spare one hour a month to connect with other pastors and leaders in the county.

“We are commanded to work together,” Devine said. “We welcome all clergy and ministry leaders to join us and to provide ideas and direction for JCMA. Our community benefits when we work together and support each other.”

This year, Devine said JCMA is working to expand on the work the group is currently doing inside the Jessamine County Detention Center.

“We are working to create small groups of community members who will covenant to journey with the gentlemen we work with on the inside when they get out — to hold them accountable, to support them and to be a friend,” Devine said.

For more information contact Beth Garrod-Logsdon at pastorbethlogsdon@gmail.com.