from Linda Ewert, Associate Pastor at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church
Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church (Goessel, KS) received a Loaves and Fishes grant from WDC for the purpose of doing a “Love Your Community Day” on September 20, 2015. The following Sunday, we offered praise and thanksgiving to God, giving testimonies of where we saw God’s love and presence around us as we helped others in our community.
“Love Your Community” Day was a day committed to sharing God’s love in real and practical ways. It was an opportunity to build relationships with people and share that we care. Everything we did was inter-generational—all ages from the littlest to the oldest were included. As we worked together in a variety of ways, it was also an opportunity for us to learn to know each other better, and learn about each other’s interests and gifts as we worked together. It was an opportunity to learn about our community—to do more than look across the street or down the road—but to actually help in some small way.
Sixteen projects were identified, and there were 160 children, youth and adults who participated. The projects included cleaning up and weeding the school garden; repairing/painting a bridge, doing fall cleanup and providing a worship service at the nursing home; doing a prayer walk around town; doing yard clean-up; making freezer meals for people in need of food; painting at the Mennonite Heritage Museum and cutting firewood. Our little children colored pictures for nursing home residents and did little service projects around the church. Others tied comforters to be given to community families. Another group made a delicious meal for all to enjoy at noon.
The Bible verse we claimed as we declare our mission and purpose for that day was “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)
On Sunday, September 27, our worship service was a celebration of praise and thanksgiving for all the ways God was at work strengthening our faith, forming relationships and building friendships as a community and the body of Christ. We learned that “when we go out to help others, God’s presence meets us and equips us to do whatever is set before us to do. In other words, the kingdom of God flows through those who are open to being dispensers of God’s love and presence to others.” To God be the glory!