Serve Day for Schools
Serve Day Season is upon us! Over the last eight months, church leaders and school leaders met together to plan serve days throughout the region to prepare schools for the first of the year!
Many of these efforts have followed the lead of the Jubilee Service Day in Bellevue. Ken Carpenter, Jubilee’s Service Day Coordinator is coordinating their 13th annual service day August 26th with over 50 churches participating to serve 19 schools. Jobs include helping teachers (400 of which signed up for assistance) set-up their classrooms, outdoor work and even pre-event work (sewing of chair pockets that hang on the back of an Elementary School chairs, which total about a thousand). In addition to serving schools, Ken connects homeowners who require assistance in the community with helpers from the local congregations, about 28 homes total. Previous home projects included helping an 82-year-old woman whose husband passed away just the night before. Ken and the team did more than just work on the house, they served as a crying shoulder and as neighbors and friends. After the project, Ken felt compelled to even attend the funeral. “You end up getting into people’s lives and it gets real! The work you do is really just a conduit for relationships. You have to meet people where they are at, don’t judge as to how they got there… be present, show up and care.”
Following the Saturday serve day in Bellevue, many of the participating congregations shut their Sunday doors and join together for Celebration in the Park. This gathering (2,400+ in attendance last year) is a beautiful illustration of the Body of Christ and its shared hope in Jesus.
Amazingly, this takes place in one school district! Highline, Northshore, Renton, Federal Way and Seattle school districts are also collaborating serve days in the coming months and have stories of how their relationships have made impacts on the volunteers, kids and staff. Outside of regular serve days, we are now aware of 159 church/school partnerships in the greater Seattle region. This means that 3 in 10 schools already have a church partnership!
When the Light up the City network began in 2014 our networks prayed for 40 days for God to show us where to focus our engagement as the Church. School engagement was one avenue people felt compelled by the Spirit and we are happy to see the incredible fruitfulness of responding to His leading. Recently, a principal in Seattle took a job in Renton and wrote asking to connect her with a church in the district, which we happily complied by connecting three congregations. Ken concludes, “Numbers don’t matter, as long as relationships are building, and people are being loved!”
Please pray for all of the relationships being built over the coming weeks. Principals and pastors, teachers and volunteers, churches with one another, and all of us with a loving Savior who said, “this is my commandment, love one another.” John 15:12
If you or your congregation is interested in serving your local school district please write us, we would love to assist in any way we can.