Central, Cumberland UMCs unite in fellowship
Central United Methodist Church and Cumberland United Methodist Church held their annual C-Unity Gathering on Oct. 1. The churches are located across from one another on Coit Street.
Rev. Will Malambri, Senior Pastor at Central UMC, commented, “I am very pleased with how the evening went and the deepening relationships among the churches. We are moving from reintroducing ourselves to reuniting with friends. The speakers were outstanding and their comments were very complementary. The conversations over dinner were meaningful. It was gratifying that before we had even left that night, people were talking about how to take our connections to a deeper level – ideas like sharing in youth ministry and a common mission trip. We are becoming brothers and sisters, not just talking about that.”
The annual C-unity event is a celebration of the two church families being united in Christ, united in the United Methodist Church, and united on Coit Street for the sake of the gospel.
“Given the climate of America these days, it’s refreshing to be in an environment where persons from varying backgrounds are able to worship and fellowship together without a lot of fanfare. I really appreciate the ways in which the clergy and laity of both churches have come together and sought to be intentional about spending time with each other. I am of the mindset that others could benefit from what we have begun to establish between Cumberland and Central,” said Rev. Anthony Hodge, Pastor at Cumberland UMC.
This year’s gathering was held at Central UMC where musicians from their casual service, The Well, led them in worship. The members then shared a meal, Holy Communion, and conversation which centered on each table creating a sentence to be included in a collective prayer reflecting their desire for grace, peace, and unity.
Central UMC member Eliya Osaki said of the event, “Regardless of cultural and background differences, it was nice to see people getting together to sing together, laugh together, fellowship and share the meal together. Also, it was inspiring to see and hear someone’s passion for taking down the walls that are dividing us. I hope we continue to get together like it's not a special event but it's a normal thing. After all, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.”