Believers from Pioneer, Ohio, and surrounding communities gathered together to worship on Sunday evening, November 24. Sponsored by the Pioneer Ministerial Association, the service was preceded with piano music from Nathan McBride and a welcome from host church pastor Mike Raypholtz. Attendees worshipped in song and Ethel Dooney also provided music during the service. Pastor Gene McBride of offered up the Prayer of Thanksgiving, while Pastor Terry Baldwin presented the Offertory. Pastor Ron Evans read the Scripture. Pastor Mark Pitman of Bridgewater Community Church gave the message. He said that Christian life has foundational building blocks on which we base our Christian faith, including our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our walk with Christ will be stymied if we do not have an attitude of gratefulness. Gratefulness is an essential building block in our faithfulness. He cited the story in Luke 7: 11- 21, about the 10 men who were suffering from leprosy who met Jesus on the road between Galilee and Samaria. Jesus healed them all, yet only one man, identified as a sinner, return to thank Jesus and express his gratitude. Jesus declared that he was also cleansed of his sin.
Pastor Pitman continued with a five-point sermon, discussing the following:
- God gives us opportunities to choose to be thankful.
- Choosing to be thankful brings great glory to God.
- There is no automatic relationship between a persons’ access to truth and his willingness to cultivate a thankful heart.
- There is no automatic relationship between the amount of blessings, and the degree of thankfulness.
- Being genuinely thankful is evidence of salvation.
He noted that above all, we need to establish a personal relationship with Christ. Following a closing prayer from Pastor Ben Gladhill, refreshments were served in the fellowship hall.
The Pioneer Area Ministerial Association shared that they “exist to…
- Communicate God’s love through worship and outreach in the church and the community.
- Provide special and seasonal joint worship services (Good Friday, Thanksgiving, Bacclaureate, etc.)
- Help establish funding and provide need for those who need help financially.
- Provide the forum for fellowship, accountability, and encouragement for the pastors/clergy.
- Provide spiritual care and pastoral care within the community.
- Help in any way possible to meet the needs within the community.”
The Association estimates that they helped over 100 families/individuals over the past year. The offering during the service will be used to fund their helping services.