NEW ALBANY, Ind. - Congregations in the New Albany area have formed the New Albany United Methodist Cluster of congregations that includes Centennary, DePauw Memorial, Grantline, Jacob's Chapel, Main Street, Silver Street and Trinity UMCs.

This new cluster of congregations is working to discover new ways to introduce the love of Jesus Christ to the New Albany community. They believe some ministry is done better together than separately and have just begun to experience the fun and creativity that shared ministry generates. Participants in the new cluster says, "We will strive to be faithful to the larger body of Christ who calls us to offer our unique gifts toward the fulfillment of God's dreams for this community."

The cluster will be working together with Vacation Bible School, shared Lenten worship services, Harvest Homecoming and a Children's Christmas Program. The cluster also is launching an upper elementary youth program and a stay-at-home mom's group.

NAUMC pastors met Feb. 20 to discuss the next step in their growing relationship. They chose first to adopt a new name: The New Albany United Methodist Cluster of congregations. Their second decision was to not proceed with formal merger discussions. They believe any merger needs to become a natural movement from laity after experiencing some significant success in ongoing ministries.

Third, they proposed the formation of a NAUMC Council of Ministries, whose purpose will be to oversee and create shared ministries that reach out to the community and also encourage the spiritual and numerical growth of each congregation.