Men's Breakfast Report, July 2008
The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, July 12 with Tom Sharon, pastor of our church as featured guest. Since Tom has been with the church for a couple of years we did not ask him about his biography. He did tell us about religious activities in Freeport.
He first discussed the Ministerial alliance. Jody Jones of West End Baptist Church has been the president of the ministerial alliance but is now leaving the area. This opens up the possibility of significant changes in the operation of the alliance. The most important is that the alliance will try to meet on different days and times during the month. Many of the pastors in the city, especially the black pastors, are dual career pastors and cannot attend the traditional Thursday morning meetings. Therefore some of these meetings will be changed to evening or weekend meetings to try to broaden participation.
The question arose whether the Catholic Church is participating. The Catholic Church is sufficiently large that it believes it can go alone and does not need the other churches, so it has not often participated with the alliance. Doctrinal differences also make it difficult to participate in joint worship services. Even so, Father Bill Sommerville did participate in the alliance. Father Jim Blocher has so far not participated.
One of the activities that the alliance and our church will participate in is National Night Out where people meet their neighbors and get acquainted with the local police. The national program has its night in August, but Texas has decided to have it in October, since it is too hot in Texas in August. The plan is for people to meet at various churches throughout the city in the early part of the evening and then finish up at the Freeport Park. Further details will be provided nearer the date.
Another area for cooperation between the police and the alliance is a proposed jail and police chaplaincy. The plan is to have area pastors provide services at the city jail on Sunday afternoons on a rotating basis. At least one service has been conducted in the drunk tank with prisoners and policemen present. This will also be an opportunity to counsel with prisoners at a time that they may be feeling very depressed and may be open to pastoral counseling and help in changing their lives. Training for this activity is desirable and the name of a person with extensive experience was provided, but providing the funds to bring him to Freeport is a problem, since the Ministerial alliance has no money or structure to handle funds. Another purpose of the police chaplains is to provide support to police and firemen. Police and firemen often come across horrible situations and a pastor can help them cope with these situations.
As usual, the men had an interesting discussion and a good breakfast. All men are invited to our next breakfast on August 9, 2008.