Church with a capital 'C'
The Alexandria Area Ministerial Association (AAMA) is a fellowship of pastors, chaplains and church leaders from Alexandria and the surrounding communities.
"The fellowship is centered on Jesus Christ and the faith that is found in Him," said Pastor Pete Reishus of New Testament Church. "Although there are some differences in doctrine, those who participate in the fellowship celebrate the truth that Jesus is the Son of God. Paul, the apostle, wrote, 'Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures...' (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4 ESV). It is this faith in Jesus that unites us."
Tracy Weaver of Risen Life Ministries and current president of the AAMA, noted, "When we hear the word 'church' we tend to think of a building on a corner, perhaps the one we attend, or the people we regularly worship with. The Bible, however, only rarely addresses a single group of Christians but, rather, regularly directs its instruction to all of the believers in a given community."
Weaver offered the following examples:
"To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints" - Romans 1:7.
"To the church of God in Corinth" - 1 Corinthians 1:2
"To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus" - Ephesus 1:1.
"To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi" - Philippians 1:1.
"To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse" - Colossians 1:2.
"The powerful implication of this observation," said Weaver, "is that the Bible's commands to love one another (Romans 12:10), accept one another (Romans 15:7), forgive each other (Ephesians 4:32) and to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16), to name a few, are not simply the responsibility of a few individuals or of a single isolated local church, but rather, are to be carried out by all of the believers in a given community or region toward one another.
"All of the Christians within a community comprise the Church of that community with a capital "C" and are called upon to fulfill their biblical responsibilities as the broader Body of Christ," he added.
The clergy and Christian leaders who participate with the AAMA are seeking to model and promote that spirit of unity in the Alexandria area.
"God is doing a work of transformation within the AAMA, which I believe is having a significant spiritual impact on the city of Alexandria," said pastor Lynndene Way from House of Prayer Church. "The pastors have become more united in purpose and spirit. They have a genuine love and concern for one another. The group spends time at the monthly meetings praying for one another and the needs of the city. They have a desire and willingness to promote the kingdom of God rather than their own denomination or church."
The AAMA meets the second Tuesday of each month during the school year. For meeting times and locations, clergy are invited to contact Tracy Weaver at Tracydweaver@gmail.com.