We Are Doing a New Thing!
OUR BEGINNINGS: On July 1, 2019, the Anchor Cooperative Parish was created as a partnership between Mt. Pleasant, New Home, Prospect, and Shady Grove UMC’s. The people of the East Bend community and surrounding areas have already shown that they possess a beautiful cooperative spirit, and these four churches have made the powerful decision to deepen their connection to one another.
OUR LEADERSHIP: We have a shared pastoral leadership team; Rev. Dr. Lauren Anderson is our director and her husband, Dr. Steve Anderson, is our part-time lay pastor. Rev. Dustin James serves as part-time local pastor. Pastors Lauren and Steve have primary preaching and pastoral care responsibilities for Mt. Pleasant, New Home and Prospect; Dustin has primary preaching and pastoral care responsibilities at Shady Grove.
Over time, all three pastors will have preaching and leadership presence in each of the four churches and in joint 5th Sunday/special services. Everyone will comfortably know who “their” pastor is while also being able to utilize and enhance ministry offerings based on the unique gifts of each pastoral team member. We thank Rev. Robin Fitzgerald for her leadership and assistance through this process and wish her well as she begins a new ministry adventure in the Virginia Conference!
We will continue to worship in all four church buildings ~ check each church's link at the top for their service and ministry details. No individual church will “lose” any ministry or group they currently have; however, we will continue to ask the questions of how God might call us into more effective ministry and kingdom-building together. At present, we do anticipate that we will embark on a joint youth and children’s ministry and are excited to see how God’s vision unfolds! Each church will continue to have their own separate committee structure as well as representation on a parish council and a parish SPRC.
I am extremely proud of the hard work that our laity have already put in, and for the willingness of all four churches to step out in faith on this new adventure. Our four rural churches recognize that we need a new way for the future, and they are courageously stepping up and stepping out to help create a model for ministry in the East Bend community, and a model we hope can be helpful and fruitful in other places!
We covet your prayers and invite you to join us on the journey!
~ Pastor Lauren