Be the Church

From weekendofservice10
Last weekend, my church closed its doors. There were no worship services scheduled, no Sunday school, no fellowship hour. For a suburban megachurch that is usually bustling Saturday night and Sunday morning, this was a big change from the normal weekend schedule. So what did the church members do, with no church service to go to? For 3800 of us, rather than going to church this weekend, we went out to be the church.

The third annual Weekend of Service was last weekend. In past years, I've helped demolish a house and clean up electronics. This year Josh and I split up, since we acknowledge we have different skills and abilities we can use to serve, so it makes sense for us to be on projects that are a good fit for us. Josh worked at a local bike shop repairing bikes for an organization called Bikes4Kids, replacing seats and tires on bikes to be given to local elementary students who can't afford one. Other projects collected food, fixed cars, sorted kids', women's and men's clothing, handed out coats, cleaned up neighborhoods,  served dinners, painted, sided, roofed, landscaped, and a host of other things.

I had a unique project. My friend Barry runs an online social justice photojournalism magazine called World Next Door, where he writes full-time about the lives on the poor and marginalized around the world.- Seriously. Around the world. Although I saw him just a few days ago, he's in India as I write this. His goal is to make fellow suburban Christians aware of issues facing these people who God loves, and give them ways to get involved or pray.

For Grace's Weekend of Service, Barry gathered a team to go out to work sites where some of the weekend's volunteers would be serving. We "embedded" in the projects as correspondents, interviewed volunteers and those involved in the ministry, took some photos, and came back to write about what we saw, felt and learned. The goal was to report back two things- What is life like here? and What is God doing here?

I'm not sure if I succeeded, but I got my story- or rather, the story of a mother and a couple other volunteers- down and sent it off. It's posted today on the site, so I'll send you over there to check it out. Feel free to leave a comment over at World Next Door, or check out some of Barry's adventures in Haiti, Kenya, India, and the Ukraine- all much more exotic than my jaunt into Indianapolis!

Wanna see what else happened this weekend?
Pictures on the church's Facebook page
My pictures from Shepherd Community Center
World Next Door's Weekend of Service stories (more to be posted later this week!)


affectioknit said...

What an awesome service project!

Heather said...

I enjoyed your post about the weekend of service. I think we'd be a lot better off if more church's would close their doors and do something like that more often.


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