The Church Has Left the Building!

April 29, 2010

On Saturday, April 24, churches around the globe worked to make a difference on 'Change the World' Weekend. 

In our conference, St. Paul's UMC in Reno, NV responded to the challenge by sending over 70 volunteers out to make a difference in their neighborhood. They put on bright green t-shirts that stating that 'The Church has Left the Building' and proceeded to exit the building armed with picks, shovels, trowels, paint brushes, and enthusiastic attitudes.
 
This tiny church, has an average weekly attendance of 100 people.
 
It exploded from a simple concept to gaining a life of its own. Two elementary schools, Elmcrest Elementary and Peavine Elementary, eagerly accepted their invitation to BE the hands and feet of Christ in our community. Ironically, one of the two schools was vandalized with graffiti the night before but St. Paul’s volunteers were able to paint over the graffiti before it was dry.

John Sutherland, principal of Elmcrest Elementary school said "I am very happy and very appreciative of St. Paul's Church." Doug Whitener, principal of Peavine Elementary school said, "The idea of people stepping outside their church to help the community is just a wonderful concept."

A total of 210 hours of service were donated on Saturday.   

Pastor Pat emphasized that this is only the beginning of something bigger than us. "It's time for our community to see that the United Methodist church and its members are not about doing church but about being the church."
 
The people of Galt United Methodist Church engaged their community in conversation. As shoppers entered the Raleys and Savemart grocery stores in Galt, they were handed a little card with a pop quiz on it. "Which animal kills more people in Africa? a. snake b. lion c.mosquito d. crocodile"
 
People received a lollipop for the correct answer - mosquito. (Pictured at left are, Wayne Myrick, Rosie Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Drew Izzo and Matthew Izzo.)
 
"The cards ended up being a great way to start a conversation about World Malaria Day, and in two days Galt UMC collected $752 in donations for the Nothing But Nets program (that's 75 bed nets!)," enthused Rev. Helen Mansfield.
 
"When the congregation set out to help change the world in some small way, they were thinking 20 bed nets or $200 would be great. They were thrilled with the response and enjoyed the opportunity to get to know their neighbors a little better."
 
How did you 'Change the World?' Share your story on the conference website at www.cnumc.org. Click on 'Share your story' found in the bottom right side of the home page – under 'Ministries in Action.'
 
Read about other churches and how they responded to the challenge: