Call it a story of harmony between two different bands who have found solid common ground under the same roof.
Committed Christian Greg King has never hesitated to reach out to help his friends at the local Hindu society in southern Indiana by enlisting the help and expertise of the local Mission Columbus of the United Methodist Church. of Asbury.
Mission Columbus has worked on behalf of a wide range of groups – Brighter Days Emergency Shelter, United Way of Bartholomew County and the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress, to name a few – to rebuild or renovating local structures for important use via a team of volunteers who sometimes even include active professionals who donate their time or equipment.
“Ultimately,” King said, “I believe that part of our overall Christian mission…is to use our God-given gifts, time, and talent for the aid and betterment of our neighbors.”
There you are, friends of the faith.
Mission Columbus has just completed a summer project alongside the Hindu Group to renovate the two-bedroom Hindu Rectory approximately 50 yards from the new $1.2 million, 10,000 square foot Sri Ganesh Mandir Temple on Goeller Road on the west side of Columbus. King estimates that the volunteers provided about $5,000 to $10,000 of labor to replace flooring throughout, replace cabinets and sinks in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as repair holes in the wall of The bathroom. He offered a special shout out to professional cabinet installers Darren and Matt Buffo, who donated their expertise.
The overall project dollar estimate is significant because the Hindus are currently repaying a Centra Credit Union loan for the temple which is expected to serve over 500 local families and likely over 2,000 local and visiting Hindus.
Rajkumar Subramanian, the company’s director of communications, said his peers were grateful for the help and teamwork.
“For a good cause, there are always people with hearts of gold,” Subramanian said. “We are really lucky to have such nice people in our community.”
But the effort was more than work.
“There was also a lot of good humor,” said Steve Ferdon, Mission Columbus coordinator.
Ferdon’s perspective on helping Hindus, who he admits was slightly outside Mission Columbus’ usual circle of those in need of a helping hand, was simple.
“It was a way for the Mission Columbus team to affirm to this group that ‘you are as much a part of the Columbus community as we are, and we are glad you are here,'” Ferdon said. Last but not least, it was part of putting into practice the new commandment given by Jesus: “I give you a new commandment. You must love yourself, as I have loved you. If you love yourself, everyone will know that you are my disciples.’”
Scripture is from John 13:34-35.
Part of Ferdon’s childhood was spent in Kuwait, where Christianity is a minority presence. He remembers seeing Muslims passionate about their faith, but also passionate about doing good and helping others.
“I finally got to a point where I just recognized that God speaks to people differently,” Ferdon said.
He added that he likes the look of the parsonage now that the work is complete.
“The place,” Ferdon said, “definitely looks quite habitable now.”