This update is from Steve Solari, lead pastor at Hope Community Fellowship, GCI’s congregation in The Colony, Texas, (on the north side of the Dallas metro area).
When there is a fifth Sunday in a month, we cancel regular worship services and hold a service project in the community where our church building is located. We’ve helped the city’s Volunteer Assistance Project repair fences and clean yards for disabled veterans or shut-ins. We’ve helped a local non-profit prepare boxes of food for children who need meals while school is out. We also helped a senior resident move into assisted living. This July (when it was too hot for an outdoor project) we hosted a meal honoring the community’s first responders (police and firefighters). When I announced the event to the congregation, there was a spontaneous outburst of applause. Like many in The Colony, our members greatly appreciate what our local heroes do for us. We wanted to show our thanks.
Our members brought food for a meal to which all the police and firefighters in the community were invited. The firefighters came in shifts to ensure coverage for emergencies, and police officers dropped in as time permitted (even though it was his day off, the Chief of Police stopped in). Apparently the community noticed—an anonymous donor (who never came inside) gave a cash donation of over $100 to help fund the event. The response was fantastic, and we’re looking forward to doing this event regularly to show thanks to community servants who often are forgotten.