Friday, September 16, 2016

Service as worship

(Above) Mike S., Zach M., Lisa M., Andy W., and Ben W. prepare to serve a hot meal to over 200 people for the Helping Hands Food Run in York, Pa.

By Layne Miller

Aldersgate York’s first-ever “Church Has Left the Building” weekend was a great success. More than 200 individuals participated in this “service as worship” weekend in June.

On Saturday, June 25, amid a crazy schedule, a record number of volunteers worked in the kitchen and fellowship hall preparing food for the Helping Hands food run. They prepared and served both a hot meal and a bagged lunch to more than 280 people in downtown York. After cleanup, the kitchen was spotless.

About 25 people attended the prayer service to begin Sunday. Rev. Dave Norris shared a powerful message and reminded us of the sign we see as we exit our lot, “You are now entering the Mission field.” Several of those attending walked down to fellowship hall to join about 50 others who participated in assembling health kits for Mission Central. The goal was 400 kits, and aided by a quick trip to Dollar Tree for more hand towels, the goal was met and exceeded; 408 kits were delivered to Mission Central.

(Left) Dan T., Jake M., and Jess H. did landscaping and cleanup at Jackson School in downtown York, Pa.

Sixteen children under the age of five were given plenty of TLC in our child care rooms. This ministry, though “inside the building,” was vital to allowing parents to get out to serve.
Jackson School was a flurry of activity, from playground to offices to hallways and classrooms. The landscape crew, on a scorching 86 degree day, pulled weeds, spread mulch, and beautified the play area in preparation for students’ return this fall. Indoors, nearly twenty more volunteers with servants’ hearts painted the entry office in bright orange and blue, organized office space, carts, and closets, and scrubbed walls and floorboards.

At least five dedicated folks served at York Otterbein, our sister church in the city.
Katallasso Clinic was the site of more cleaning and organizing. The sun is now streaming through nice, clean windows, thanks to our crew of ten. Meanwhile, down the street, eleven workers and two little guys from the neighborhood made quick work of beautifying Salem Square, a small park surrounding an historical statue.

A neighbor in need was grateful for a small crew of five who leveled and laid a 21-foot-long paver walkway and built a small ramp.

A couple of guys sanded and painted a fire escape for York Rescue Mission and still had time to finish up at Jackson School.

Some folks visited our homebound, and although an organized effort to nearby nursing homes did not come to fruition, these agencies look forward to us trying again in the future.

Dave Y., Steve H., Jacob H., Keith M., Vanessa C., Vito C., Karen E., Gavin E., Lindsay M., Kaelyn E., Brady E., Zach M., and Lisa M. did a landscaping project at Olivia’s House, a grief and loss center for children in York, Pa.

Thirteen hard-working individuals, one of whom was celebrating his fifth birthday later that day, worked unceasingly to beautify the gardens of Olivia’s House, a grief and loss center for children. The center has an open house next month and greatly appreciated the weeding, moss-scraping, trimming, and beautifying of the gardens, a critical part of their work.

Many of the workers returned to the church for a celebration luncheon. As each person entered fellowship hall, they were greeted by overwhelming clapping, table-drumming, and cheering for a job well done. The kitchen crew, never wanting to be acknowledged, served a delicious banquet for feasting. Leftovers were donated to York Rescue Mission.

Those who participated (and many who couldn’t) were so enthusiastic about the weekend. We would love for this to become an annual outpouring of service as the Church Leaves the Building. Every church family should give it a try, because we are the church!

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