On Separation in the Trenches

by Greg Linscott

Sometimes, in trying to make sure we are diligent in “the anise and cummin” of the separation issue, we Fundamentalists can forget the bigger picture. I was reminded of this as I read my local newspaper today.

Leaders to collaborate for Holy Week services

Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN — Parishioners of five local Christian churches will reach across the divide of their individual religious convictions during Holy Week, collectively sharing services from Palm Sunday to Easter sunrise.

The Skowhegan Ecumenical Council, comprised of leaders from five churches, will gather their flocks together and — for the first time ever — will share Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday at the new Church of the Nazarene on East Madison Road.

Worshippers also will be invited to break bread together after the service at a breakfast hosted by the Centenary United Methodist Church on Dr. Mann Road, according to the Rev. George L. Hodgkins Jr. of that church.

Hodgkins said he and the other ministers meet once a month for breakfast to share ideas and plans. Two years ago, they began collectively putting into action a plan to help people in need of financial aid for food and fuel.

They also discuss quality-of-life issues and, in the case of Holy Week, talked about shared worship during this last week of Lent, the week immediately preceding Easter Sunday.

The week is observed in many Christian churches as a time to commemorate and enact the suffering (Passion) and death of Jesus through various observances and services of worship.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for some time, but never have been able to pull it off,” Hodgkins said. “We were all thinking along the same line. With the Nazarene Church just moving in, it seemed an ideal place for a sunrise service. It also will be a wonderful way to celebrate as a faith community here in Skowhegan.”

Pastor Verne Haskell of the Church of the Nazarene said the plan will cap an uplifting time for his parishioners, who will move this Sunday to the new church. He said they will meet at 10 a.m. at the former church on North Avenue to say good-bye and travel en masse in a vehicle caravan to their new church home.

“We will have a 20-minute service (at North Avenue), a sort of farewell and give thanks for all the good years of ministry there,” Haskell said. “It’s a celebration service.”

Hodgkins and Father Maurice (Moe) Morin of the Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church said they are excited about the plans to share the week. Also part of the Council are the Rev. Mark Tanner of the Skowhegan Federated Church and the Rev. Lev Sherman of All Saints Episcopal Church.

Source: Central Maine Morning Sentinel, March 25, 2006

I don’t post this in arrogance- but to remind myself and those who might read that the integrity of the gospel must be the basis of our fellowship. I cannot, if I am to remain obedient to the Word of God, cooperate with religious leaders who add, detract, or diminish from the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12