Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I had the privilege and honor last Sunday to add to the list of why I love living in this historic, coastal southern town. Being a member of Duncan United Methodist Church, our congregation was invited to an appreciation service at the new Greater St. Stephens Church on Highmarket Street. As we are entering the Christmas season, the service lifted my spirit and reminded me of the generosity and fulfillment of loving our neighbors.
A little over two years ago, the congregation of Greater St. Stephens suffered a devastating shock when their chapel was destroyed in a fire. Like in many times of tragedy, many in our town extended offerings of help, support and love to Pastor Carl Anderson and his congregation. The members of Duncan Church were no different. It would take time for their church family to rebuild their home so the doors of Duncan’s chapel welcomed the congregation of Greater St. Stephens with arms wide open. Throughout their time of fundraising, searching for property and building meetings, the congregation of Greater St. Stephens knew they had a home to worship — with an immediate family of neighbors too — setting aside the 5th Sunday as a day of joint service for both congregations. It truly was a relationship sent from heaven.
But now, after many days of hard work and determination, it was time for Greater St. Stephens to be back home. They dedicated their beautiful new church a few months ago and welcomed their friends from Duncan to a thanksgiving service in their new sanctuary. Together again, these two congregations sat beside one another, sang in unison, prayed for each other and rejoiced with one another. Pastor Carl Anderson and Pastor Dora Gafford led the service with a message of hope and a spirit of love. The choirs of both churches played, clapped and sang. The congregations laughed and smiled thinking that we may not share the same block on Highmarket Street anymore — but we will always be joined together by heart.
So much of what we hear during this season is of store discounts and holiday sales, presents and decorations. So as we enter this Advent season, thank you for this service that reminded me of something so much greater in the world today — our calling to take care of each other. No matter of age, race or gender. No matter of income level, job position or social status. No matter family size or religious preference. When we take time to take care of each other — the world notices and changes. So to the congregation of Greater St. Stephens and to my family at Duncan, thanks for showing me the spirit of Christmas — not just today but every day. (And to the Georgetown Times for still sharing the GOOD NEWS that happens in our community!)
Duncan United Methodist Church Member
Brett Phillips’ op ed piece laying out the specifics of the Broad Street initiative as proposed by the Clemson Charrette is …”Right On.” This is one of the last and most important outstanding legacies of the Charrette process and needs to be completed.
Former Chairman of the Charrette Implementation Committee