Local churches show community kindness
October 15, 2014
Around 250 volunteers from area churches came together on Sunday, Oct. 12, to work on community projects and help those in need. They did yard work, baked cookies, cleaned up trash, washed cars, painted fire hydrants and assisted in nursing homes, all with no expectation of payment or reward. It was all part of the second annual Kindness in Action Day, a collaboration effort of local churches in the Cassville Ministerial Alliance.
James Weaver, pastor of First Baptist Church of Cassville, said the day was a chance to show the community that Christians are more than just people who sit in church pews on Sundays. “Too often, the church is seen as only concerned about us and ours and that we only want others for what they can bring,” he told his congregation during that morning’s church service. “This is an opportunity to debunk that myth.”
The event was headquartered at Emmanuel Baptist Church, under their pavilion. Volunteers went there to choose their assignments. Danny Heupel, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist, said the volunteers’ actions were all a part of showing God’s love to others. “We’re continuing outreach, we’re continuing discipleship, we’re continuing service and worship until He comes,” he said.
The number of volunteers who came to the event was down from the 400 who showed up last year, but the ones who came took on their tasks with enthusiasm. Some volunteers went to downtown Cassville to paint fire hydrants and curbsides, clean up trash, and other tasks to help improve the city’s appearance in preparation for the upcoming Chili Cook-off. Others went to the kitchen at the Family Life Center and baked cookies that would be delivered to a variety of locations around Cassville.
Michael Correia, a member of Emmanuel Baptist, was one of those who braved the cool weather to help in a free car wash on Main Street. When asked about why he chose to participate, he said, “To help our community and to show people that, with God in your life, we’re able to do nice things for each other. It’s not all about religion. It’s about being part of your community and spreading love around your neighbors.”
Yard work was a large part of the event, and volunteers helped to improve the appearance of several old homes by mowing lawns and removing brush. For Mary and Herman Stringer, this was a God-send.
According to Mary, contractors came to her neighbor’s house and cut down some trees, one of which fell onto their property. The contractors removed the tree, but left behind a lot of branches that broke off when it fell. Because of age and mobility issues, the Stringers could not go out onto the steep decline on their property to remove the debris themselves. However, volunteers showed up at their home and cleared away all the branches and debris for them.
At the end of the day, volunteers gathered back at Emmanuel Baptist to enjoy a potluck dinner and worship service. They also heard testimony from some of the volunteers about their experiences in service. The volunteers completed all but two of the projects planned out for the day.
Andy Lambel, pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Cassville, said the members of his church had a good time participating in Kindness in Action Day. “I think the weather may have hampered us a little bit, but we enjoyed it and look forward to it next year,” he said.
Lambel also added that Kindness in Action Day showed what was possible when Christians work together. “We’re a team, and as a team, we have a goal to share the love of Jesus with our community,” he said.
Weaver is also looking forward to next year’s Kindness in Action Day, and hopes that one day it could include all of Barry County. “I would like to see it expand beyond Cassville and move out further into Exeter, Wheaton, Washburn, Purdy, all the surrounding cities,” he said.