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Pastor alliance returning to service

After the summer recess, the Natchez area alliance of church pastors and associate pastors will resume its monthly meetings on Tuesday.

The meeting usually is held at a different church each month, but this month it will be held at the Natchez Children’s Home, 806 N. Union St. in Natchez. Thanks to the hospitality of Nancy Hungerford, the home’s director, lunch will be served for the participating ministers.

The Ministerial Alliance has, as its purposes, to be a means of  fellowship and unity among Christian leaders, to serve as a resource for advice for community leaders on matters that concern all residents, to be an advocate for works of charity for community concerns and to promote a sense of community among all residents of the Natchez area.

The alliance is open to all regularly licensed, commissioned or ordained clergy who exercise an active pastorate or institutional ministry in the area who wish to attend. It is also open to individuals who are retired from ministry.

The alliance meets monthly on the fourth Tuesday of each month except during summer months. The day of the regular meeting for the alliance may be changed temporarily at the discretion of the officers when needed. An annual membership fee of $20 is payable for a pastor with one or more churches or for a church with one or more pastors.

The agenda for meetings usually consists of an opening devotional, approval of minutes of a previous meeting, treasurer’s report, reports on a variety of services in the community, such as Stewpot, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, chaplain activities in hospitals and jails, prayer for the needs of the community, guest speakers sometimes and shared concerns of the members. The guest speakers at this Tuesday’s meeting will be Mayor Butch Brown and Ann Elizabeth Kaiser will be speaking about health ministry in congregations.

Also on the agenda for this month is the establishment of a committee to plan the Community Thanksgiving Service. The planning committee will select the location, date, preacher, music, readers and the charity to which the offering will be given.

The alliance also plans the National Day of Prayer for the first week of May each year. Meeting dates for the alliance through December are Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 19 and Dec. 10.  The officers this year (January-December) are President Richard Wood, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Vice-president Bo Swilley, Community Chapel and Treasurer Nance Hixon, Grace United Methodist Church. The office of secretary is vacant.

I am inviting the pastors and associate pastors of all the area churches to join us for this opening meeting of the fall. I have been a participating member of the Ministerial Alliance since 1986 and consider it a blessing for me. I encourage the ministers in this community to attend this meeting.

I ask all those who plan to remain for lunch to let Nancy Hungerford or her staff know by calling her at 601-442-6858.


The Rev. David O’Connor is pastor of St. Mary Basilica and Assumption Catholic Church. He can be reached at stmarybasilica@cableone.net