St. Paul United Methodist's day of service shines light on good work

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 8, 2014 

St. Paul United Methodist Church hopes its citywide day of service shines light on the good work done by various agencies in Columbus.

"It is a celebration of what they do," the Rev. John Fugh Jr. said of St. Paul for All. "It's not about us."

This year's celebration on March 16 involves volunteers and members of the church working at 14 locations around the city.

That work will include painting, construction, landscaping and preparing meals.

Fugh, an associate pastor, said the event emphasizes that the church's support in the community is more than just financial.

"Christianity is not passive," he said. "Christianity is about action. We are the hands and feet of Christ."

Tammy Reynolds, chairwoman of St. Paul's Council on Ministries, said this is the second year for the event. More than 300 church members worked at 10 locations last year.

"We were blown away by the turnout," she said. "We anticipated between 50 and 100 people to sign to serve. The excitement is already building for this year."

She said participants can sign up for where they want to work.

"Everyone needs to do something for which they are well-suited," she said. "Some jobs require more labor than others. Doing landscaping or building is not for everyone."

The Rev. Dr. Shane Green, senior pastor of the church, said St. Paul, which has close to 2,000 members, has a rich history of doing for others.

That includes work in foreign countries.

"As a church, there are many local ministries we support," Green said. "They welcome the hands-on help."

Reynolds hopes the project inspires volunteers to do more charitable work.

Green said it's good that families work together, with children watching their parents.

"It is teaching service as a way of life," he said.

The morning of the event, participants will gather at the church on Wildwood Avenue for a combined Sunday school class and pep rally. After a worship service, workers will scatter to different mission fields. Everyone involved will receive a T-shirt and lunch.

Fugh said St. Paul loves to work with the chosen agencies as well as ministries of other churches.

"We are not in competition," he said. "We are all on the same team."

Places that will receive help include Valley Interfaith Promise, Wynnton Neighborhood Network, B.R.I.D.G.E., Rose Hill Step Up Ministry, Sound Choices, Habitat for Humanity, Wynnton Neighborhood Housing, Hope Harbour, MercyMed, Damascus Way, Our House, Columbus High School, Open Door Community House and the Anne Elizabeth Shepherd Home.

Reynolds said those agencies were contacted to find out their needs.

Here is a list of the duties the volunteers will perform at each site:

• At Sound Choices, a crisis pregnancy center, workers will be assembling baby bottles for a financial campaign drive.

• At B.R.I.D.G.E., a 12-week program for young adults, there will be cleaning, painting and organizing of supply closets.

• At Damascus Way, an emergency shelter and home for women and children, ceiling tiles will be replaced and the dining hall and kitchen will be painted.

• A cookout with games and crafts will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Shepherd Home, which provides residential care for severely emotionally and behaviorally disturbed girls.

• At MercyMed, an urgent care facility that provides medical care to the less fortunate, workers will clean out the contents of several homes that have been donated to the clinic and clean up demolition debris in a location where the parking lot will be expanded.

• Workers will assist in the building of four Habitat for Humanity houses in the East Highland area.

• At Wynnton Neighborhood Housing, participants will sod two yards, lay pine straw and install some pavers.

• At Hope Harbor, an emergency shelter and service for victims of domestic violence, participants will fix fences, put together picnic tables, plant flowers and put down mulch on the playground.

• Flower beds and benches will be constructed at Our House, which provides residential care to children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

• At Open Door Community House, blankets will be folded and stored. Packages of hygiene items will be assembled.

• At Columbus High School, which is located in St. Paul's neighborhood, landscaping and cleaning will be done.

• Valley Interfaith Promise, which arranges temporary shelter for homeless families, will have its offices cleaned.

• Personal care bags for clients will be made and the facilities cleaned at Wynnton Neighborhood Network.

• For Rose Hill Step Up Ministry, which provides worship and support for the homeless, St. Paul will prepare and serve meals.

Reynolds said anyone in the community interested in volunteering can sign up at www.stpaulunitedmethodist.org.

"Everyone is welcome," he said.

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