New Heights and St. James have partnered together over the years in different events and outreaches. We asked Jim Hall and Pastor Curtiss how this relationship began and continues to grow.
Jim: “Pastor Curtiss and I bumped into each other over the years in various meetings that we both were a part of. I had heard a lot about him, all good things, and I really liked him. He asked me to join him with a group of pastors to have lunch. After that, I began to engage more intentionally with him and his staff and asked them to my house for a fish fry last year. That was one of the things that kind of solidified the relationship between our churches. He asked me to be a part of their Good Friday service and, last year, I asked him to preach at New Heights. When he came and preached, he definitely endeared himself to our congregation.”
Pastor Curtiss: “One of the meetings both Jim and I were invited to about three years ago was to talk about issues that are concerning our community, particularly as it relates to reconciliation. This group really wanted to move towards some kind of reconciliation. I mentioned that, because we don’t know each other very well, we need to take the time to develop authentic relationships with one another and then we can look at reconciliation. If we don’t know each other, we don't trust each other and this is as far as we are going to go. And that’s what we’ve been doing since that day, developing authentic relationships.
Jim really has a pure heart. He is a very special person and I love him dearly. We get to mentor each other in different areas and be open and vulnerable. That is a result of developing an authentic relationship. If we didn’t do that, we probably wouldn’t be having these conversations at all. It’s always important to have authentic relationships where you are able to build on it and say what's on your mind without anybody getting frustrated and upset about it. Jim and I listen intently to one another, and try to understand each other's perspective. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we agree to disagree, and that’s okay. The beauty of that is that when it’s done, we’re still friends. That's the beauty of relationship.”