5 Churches Getting Together for Needy Again This Year

By Esther Talbot Fenning St. Charles Post Special Correspondent | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 16, 1994 | Go to article overview

5 Churches Getting Together for Needy Again This Year


Esther Talbot Fenning St. Charles Post Special Correspondent, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Ecumenism is alive and well in New Melle. Five churches in and near the town are joining to host a picnic and auction for a common cause - to help needy in the area. Proceeds will be divided equally among the churches to use as they see fit.

Participating churches are New Melle Baptist, St. Paul's Lutheran, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Friedens United Church of Christ and St. John's United Church of Christ.

The interdenominational fund-raiser is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church at the junction of Highway D and A in New Melle.

The first New Melle Outreach Picnic was held last year to help flood victims. It was the brainchild of the Rev. Joseph Weber of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. With more than 400 people attending, the event raised $1,200.

"This is not a lot of money, but with it we can make a big difference to a stranded traveler or a family who is behind in a utility bill or mortgage payment," said the Rev. Devin R. Jones of St. John's United Church of Christ.

"This money is staying here to minister to people we all know. This kind of support can probably best be done by local congregations responding to active needs in their own area," Jones emphasized. "We know what we need in New Melle, and we do it. It's different than having the word come down from higher ups," he went on.

Jones said that cooperation between different denominations could be a grass-roots trend.

Generally agreeing with him is Miriam Steward, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary and the founder of the annual New Melle Passion Play. Steward is on the New Melle Outreach committee.

Steward said people are getting more broad-minded about religion, and that change is evident in New Melle.

"I remember being in a play at the Presbyterian church. …

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