Church Foregoes Sunday Service—Puts Feet to Its Faith

Post a Comment » Written on May 27th, 2009     
Filed under: News
LACEY, WA (May 27, 2009) – The City of Lacey honored River Ridge Covenant Church this month for its decision to forego the usual Sunday morning worship service so the congregation could work on more than 20 community projects.

The congregation called the event its “Faith in Action and Be the Church” day. Two hundred members fanned across the city on April 26 to work on projects including removal of non-native plants near a local creek, serving lunch at the Salvation Army, and painting over graffiti covering a half-mile of fencing along Interstate 5, among others.

The City Council presented its Community Service Award to the church on May 14.

Members were surprised by some of the reactions they encountered during the day of service. “A man was quite frustrated that our team wouldn’t take any funds for washing his car,” says Katie Melhaff. “He bought 15 hamburgers and chicken sandwiches from McDonalds and gave them to the team.”

“One of the women said that our work inspired her to begin to take her little sister on service projects when they get together,” says Dacia Gordon, who was in charge of Big Brothers/Big Sisters Pancake Breakfast and Game Day.

Jeannie Sherin, who coordinated the overall project, said the event helped build new relationships among church members. Teams were intentionally multigenerational and included even young children. At one local school where a team did landscaping, small children used plastic wheelbarrows to move bark chips.

“It was amazing—I’ve never seen my church so energized and united,” Sherin says. “It was truly a blessed event.”

The event encouraged new ministries that are ongoing, including one group that rolled bandages for hospitals in Congo—participants say they will continue their work.

Sherin says the church will again forego the normal worship service on October 11 so that members can participate in the national Faith in Action Day, an event started by World Vision that provided inspiration for the recent community day.

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