By Libby Hopkins
Psalm 100 says, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.” That is what Pastor Don Tanner of Maranatha Church of God in Ruskin does when he and other pastors from churches in the area get together the last Monday of each month for a community sing. “We have done a number of different activities through the years to involve the different denominational and non-denominational pastors and churches in the area,” Tanner said, “Because of the many different flavors of worship styles, doctrines and practices in each local church; we found that the monthly sing format is the most effective for bringing us together.”
The community sing is an organized interactive group of local church leaders committed to the work of the Lord in Florida’s South Hillsborough County (from Big Bend Rd., south to the Manatee county line). They consist of a group of multi-cultural, inter-denominational, and non-denominational ministers, pastors (and/or their appointed delegates) who represent churches and congregations located in area. They acknowledge and appreciate other ministerial associations. Their motto is ‘unity with diversity.’
The group meets at a different church each month and they raise an offering at each sing that gets donated to various outreaches or charities in the community. To be active in the group, they ask that a pastor or a designated liaison from the church attend their monthly pastor’s council meeting which is held on the first Tuesday of each month. “We plan each month’s sing and designate the offering in the monthly council meeting,” Tanner said, “Each active church is provided a place in the program at the monthly sing and they determine who will be singing from their particular church.” There are no dues required to be a part of the monthly sings, just the will to come and be involved.
The next sing will be held on Monday, January 28 at 7 p.m. and the location will be announced on the group’s website. If you would like to find out more information on the monthly sings or if you would like to join the group, you can visit their website at www.shmasouthshores.org or call Tanner at 645-1538.