Sparta Ecumenical Council
Shepherd of the Hills is a charter member of the council that began in 1968. The goals of the council are to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Savior,…and to educate the people in the Sparta area about Christianity and the unity of the Church (from 1968 SEC Constitution)
Since then, SOTH has continued to be part of a rich tradition that has indeed spread the Gospel. The community at Knoll Heights is a direct result of the unity that these churches has – along with the current Sparta Food Pantry – a 501c3 entity of the SEC. The Food Pantry, which is located at First Presbyterian Church, 32 Main Street, Sparta, NJ, serves Sussex and Morris Counties. In 2012, over 10,000 people were assisted with food donations.
The SEC Food Pantry also provides supplemental food for families with children in the summer months. These children, while on vacation, do not receive the breakfast and lunches provided to them at school throughout the rest of the year.
The Christmas Basket program and the Back to School Backpack program are two other short term projects that the SEC Food Pantry engages. Our youth and adults help with the sorting, packing, and sharing of school supplies and food donations.
Apart from the Food Pantry, the SEC meets monthly to discuss ecumenical and justice issues that affect Sparta and the neighboring towns. The annual CROP walk, High School Baccalaureate, and National Day of Prayer are a few other examples of how the spiritual leaders of the town work together in Christ.