Churches unite over meals, summer activities

MILFORD — Mt. Enon Baptist Church and the Milford Church of the Nazarene held their annual Vacation Bible School event this past week, but this time they added a unique twist: they joined together and held only one Vacation Bible School.

Pastors of the Milford churches say they hope the unique melding of the two congregations can help begin healing an otherwise hurting community.

“I called her,” Pastor Art Roxby said of Mt. Enon’s Pastor Patricia Green. “It was very important to me that we got up and went there. We went to them.”

Aree Youmans and Eme Cantu color together during a joint Vacation Bible School last week at Mt. Enon Baptist Church in Milford with congregation members from the Milford Church of the Nazerene. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Aree Youmans and Eme Cantu color together during a joint Vacation Bible School last week at Mt. Enon Baptist Church in Milford with congregation members from the Milford Church of the Nazerene. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Pastor Green said she appreciated the gesture and both congregations came together like they’d done so many times before.

“In light of everything going on, it feels good. It really does,” she added.

“We tend to feel like somebody has to give up their culture to blend in. But we don’t have to. We need to learn to come together while embracing each other as we are. And their church has done that.”

Each night during the Vacation Bible School held at Mt. Enon Baptist Church across from Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, children and adults alike enjoyed evenings meals together before splitting up for age-appropriate activities.

“I find it not incidental that we would be doing this now. I think the timing is right,” Pastor Green said of the partnership.

Both churches have attempted to work together on prior events with no luck. Until now.

“We realize, as far as mankind is concerned, especially when spirituality is concerned, that this kind of healing has to start in the church,” she said.

According to Pastor Roxby, his congregation felt “joy all week.”

“From the moment we walked in, it felt like family,” he added.

“We want this to carry over into the school and the playground. I believe in all my heart that amazing things happen when people just get together and love.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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