Church service will showcase recovery effort

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 26, 2000

This Sunday, pastor Ron Brown wants to see encouragement spread around town.

Monday, June 26, 2000

This Sunday, pastor Ron Brown wants to see encouragement spread around town.

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But it won’t come from his sermon.

Brown, of Christ United Methodist Church, is planning the first-ever Leadership Sunday – a day to honor elected city, county, state and other officials and a day to hear about the work that’s already begun to revive the area’s economy.

"They know people are struggling," Brown said. "Leadership Sunday will let them send a message that they know how hard it is here, with the jobs leaving and that they’ll do everything they can."

Shutdowns and closures at Intermet-Ironton Iron, Cabletron, Ashland Inc. and now Piketon have left and will leave people in dire straights, the pastor said.

Some might not be able to make the mortgage or rent payment next month, while others had just bought that boat or RV a week before Intermet announced its shutdown, he said.

"I’ve talked to so many," Brown said. "I hear, ‘We’re struggling,’ even if they have a nice big home, because they got it when they were working but the payments go on after the jobs move out."

And, leadership from Ironton to Columbus does care, even if some think they are not around, he said.

They have been working behind the scenes and this Sunday will be the community’s chance to not only thank them but hear a little inspiration that will cut through the struggle, Brown said.

"That’s our main objective," he said. "We want to encourage the people in the city and county and in our local churches that our leadership knows they’re struggling and will do everything they can to help."

State Rep. Bill Ogg and state Sen. Mike Shoemaker plan to attend and speak, while several local leaders will also speak, Brown said.

The Leadership Sunday service will start at 9:30 at the church at Seventh and Wyanoke streets and last for about an hour.

The VFW Post 8850 and Ladies Auxiliary will march in to present a flag to the church. Then, the church will recognize those leaders present.

A passage of Scripture will be read at the service but it won’t be a sermon, Brown said.

"There probably will be a sermon in what our leaders will have to say," he said. "This is the message I want – a message of encouragement that we can pull everything together."

People sometimes need to just hear that their leaders are there for them, Brown said.