As much as I have tried to forget, I still vaguely remember my first Rugby scrum...
My 5 foot 9 1/2 inch body topping out at 150 pounds being joined together with other ruggers who were mostly over 6 foot and or over 200 pounds seemed a bit odd. Clearly, my slight body became much stronger when linked together with my huskier (and much stronger) teammates. Scrumming for me was not a norm but more of an accident. My task on the Wolfpack 7 team was flyhalf. I was the speedy little fellow who would hopefully receive the final pitch near the sidelines and run it in for the try. Never was it part of my responsibility to match up in a scrum with opponents (some twice my size).
(Stock photo: www.bing.com)
All that to say, being linked with my teammates made me feel much stronger and we had the opportunity to win the scrum. I was required to do my part. Well, my short stint as a rugger was fun and I'm glad I survived. Twenty plus years have passed since those days of machismo. One thing I carry with me is the sense of effectiveness when the team links together for a common goal.
Last night was the culmination of a week of mission here in Lewistown and our worship at the local community center was powerful, enriching, energetic, and just what our town needed. The monumental task of planning, making connections, asking for help, and executing the plan could not have been done by a spindly flyhalf preacher. Many hands make the burden light could be a standard title for what I am about to share. I think I will stay with the title, "Together Everyone Achieves More"
There were so many people taking part at so many different levels, one simply needs to rejoice at how it all works and how God orchestrated the whole thing from vision and dream to actual fruition.
Here is a list of participants as best as I can recall:
Crossroads Pregnancy Center
The Shelter Services
Mifflin County Library
Lewistown Presbyterian Church
Evangel Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Sacred Heart Church
Trinity United Methodist Church
Rhodes Memorial United Methodist Church
Yeagertown United Methodist Church
Lake Park United Methodist Church
Calvary Bible Church
St. John's Lutheran Church
First United Methodist Church
Grace United Methodist Church
Thrivent Financial Group
Maines and Associates
Community Center Director, Mary Barr
Mifflin County High School Key Club
Sherwin Williams Store
The Lewistown Sentinel
The Salt 'n Light Ministry team
Mark Crossan and Joe Gagliardo
The United Way
Not last nor least, my wife and son
I'm sure I have missed someone or an organization and for that I apologize in advance of my shortcoming. In short, the fabric of our community became a bit stronger and more resilient through all the planning and working of "Week of Caring"
Can't say we formed a 'scrum' this week, but that word picture does work here. Each member of the team that responded to the invitation to join the mission came together to form a formidable group of workers in God's field. With warm regards, I offer this thank you to all who invested your lives into Lewistown borough.
PS: Next year our "Week of Caring" will begin July 30 and end August 4. Our worship celebration will occur Sunday August 6.