By Nancy Davidge
based on conversations with Jerry Jefferies and Carolynne Fairweather, part of the Vestry Papers issue on Leading Change – July 2014
Tillamook, Oregon has many similarities to other small cities across the United States. There’s a strong sense of community. Neighbors come together to support each other and to volunteer in the community’s many social service programs. The community supports a number of churches and other faith traditions with several working together in service to God’s mission as the Tillamook Ecumenical Community. For eight or more years, four Protestant Church members of the Tillamook Ecumenical Community, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, St. John’s United Church of Christ, St. Peter Lutheran Church, and the Tillamook United Methodist Church, have also gathered for shared worship. Their practice of celebrating Fifth Sundays by worshipping and breaking bread together has strengthened the bonds between the congregations and laid the ground for not only working collaboratively in mission but also for three of these congregations to hire the same clergyperson as their pastor or priest-in-charge.
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