Sunday 2 Serve – July 30, 2017
Last summer, on Sunday, July 31st, seven local area churches spent their regular worship time going out to serve local communities together. This joint initiative, called Sunday 2 Serve, was a roaring success in its first ever year of joining many churches together across many communities. In just 2 or 3 hours Sunday 2 Serve mobilized over 800 volunteers from 7 different churches to 64 different project sites to bless 14 or so west metro / Lake Minnetonka communities! Churches are gearing up for another great day of service and compassion this July 30.
Each church is responsible to coordinate their own projects, but the united effort grew out of conversations among local clergy who meet monthly for the Westonka Ministerial Association lunch. The projects were vast and varying, accommodating all ages and abilities. Volunteers brought their own supplies, purchased items, and even donated many of them to those they served.
Freshwater Community Church of St. Boni sent teams out to paint classrooms at Southview Elementary, cleaned the boards at the hockey arena, picked up trash and pulled weeds in multiple city parks. Others served at the Lighthouse spending time with the senior residents, as well as making sandwiches with them that would later be handed out to the homeless in Minneapolis. Another crew mended fences, painted several houses and a chicken coop at Hope Rides, an organization dedicated to providing therapy to people using horses. Pastor John Braland of Freshwater Church noted that “Freshwater donated over 2,400 labor hours to the community because we love people and that’s what Jesus wants us to do.” Now multiply that across 7 participating churches and you can bless a lot of people in a short amount of time.
MainStreet Covenant Church and Mound Evangelical Free Church in Mound teamed up with WeCAN to send crews to the homes of several Meals-on-Wheels clients for small home repair and maintenance projects as well as cleaning and yard work. Another project brought generations together at Lake Minnetonka Shores (Presbyterian Homes) where young children served alongside the elderly in making sandwiches for the homeless. “It’s not just about the manual labor but the real lives that stand behind these projects that matter most,” Pastor Jeremy Berg of MainStreet Covenant remarks. “We have served some of the same Meals on Wheels residents for about 6 years now, and they look forward to our visit each summer.” MainStreet has been devoting a Sunday morning for service since the church began in 2012.
St. John’s Lutheran Church had crews at the local firehouse, clearing weeds from a local ball field, helping at the Westonka Food Shelf and WeCan, and picking up trash along the lakeshore. “The members of St John’s enjoyed feeling like a part of a bigger thing happening in our community,” Pastor Jeff Heiderscheit said. “We hope to see it grow every year!”
St. Martin’s Episcopal volunteers were busy in Minnetonka Beach beautifying the Dakota Trail, picking up trash along Shoreline Drive, and making 1,000 sandwiches for the homeless. First Presbyterian of Maple Plain cleared weeds and brush in the Lewis Cemetery, painted a park shelter in Rainbow Park in Maple Plain, and did some landscaping and visited with residents at Haven Homes. “We are confident that people won’t care how much we know until they know how much we care,” remarked Dave Abernathy, pastor of Mound Free Church. “Sunday 2 Serve is one small way we can genuinely express the love of the gospel in visible and tangible ways to our city.”
Sunday 2 Serve will happen again this summer on Sunday, July 30. So far 8 churches are participating including St. John’s Lutheran, Bethel United Methodist, MainStreet Covenant, St. Martin’s Episcopal, First Presbyterian, Freshwater Community, and Mound Evangelical Free. Each of these churches are looking for opportunities to bless neighbors in need and impact our cities. “We hope to see Sunday 2 Serve grow each year and see more and more churches joining the cause,” Pastor Berg says. But he has even bigger dreams for this mustard seed movement, wondering: “What if churches and pastors outside the Westonka area caught this same spirit of cooperation and started their own movements among dozens of other churches?”
An after party at St. John’s Lutheran in Mound will provide food, refreshments and fellowship for all the participating churches and volunteers. If you would like to participate this year, feel free to contact any of the churches listed above and join the effort.
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