Trees were recently planted in Pierce Park! The park is adjacent to our church parking lot. The action was a collaboration with three local groups, the City of Cedar Rapids, Trees Forever, and National Honor Society students from Kennedy High School. Following the derecho two years ago, it’s great to have these new trees. I celebrate the groups that came together to make this happen. This situation is a wonderful example of partnerships.

We need to encourage, and celebrate, groups that come together. When I think about the word partnership, I think about the word koinonia. Koinonia is a Greek word that is frequently used in the New Testament. The first place we find the word is in Acts 2:42, “The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.” (CEB) Fellowship with others is a key aspect of Christian life.

Koinonia is further used to describe collaborations with others. One meaning is “to share with someone in something.” A second meaning is to “give a share in something.” Groups who partner together see positive results from their labor. Together, they further the greater good for a larger group.
Helen Keller once said, “Alone we do so little; together we can do so much.”

At Lovely Lane, we are fortunate to have strong partnerships with local groups. We work together with the Nourished Community and Children’s Weekday Ministries. We also partner with Matthew 25, the Women at the Well Prison Congregation, the Boy Scouts of America, Migrant Movement for Justice, the food pantry at Kennedy High School, and so many others.

I might even add that United Methodist clergy and laity from our city gather on a regular basis to discuss collaborative ministry efforts. Circuit ministry
will become more common in the years to come. There is so much we can do when we work together and nobody cares who gets the credit!

Blessings to you, Scott