Federal Way, United
Federal Way is a city of about 96 thousand souls in South King County- who are very passionate about their city. On October 1st, congregations in Federal Way came together to serve their city with the 5th annual We Love Our City.
When the group in Federal Way started this endeavor five years ago, they took a practical approach, asking people in the city, “How can we serve you?”. This year the serve day expanded from those initial steps to engage: parks were cleaned up, schools painted, community gardens were planted and harvested; and a stretch of Pac Highway had a group that picked up litter on the side of the road. A few groups worked inside too: the Federal Way Day Center and a clothing bank in a middle school was deep cleaned.
The group is attempting to fulfill Jesus’ prayer in John 17 ,"that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me". That love and unity was demonstrated through service and they city has recognized the Church is not just a fortress, but rather a force in our community. Over 300 people from 15 churches exemplified Jesus’ love for Federal Way in tangible ways.
There are many stories from our serve day and many expressed encouragement and inspiration to witness a difference made in our city. The day kicked off with a small group serving a Habitat for Humanity community called Westway. They have serve by taking out old trash, mowing lawns, and cleaning up the neighborhood. Shelley Pauls, one of the volunteers mentioned, “It is difficult to see that people feel stuck with all their clutter, but it can be freeing to give them an opportunity to get rid of unwanted things”. Another highlight was a congregation that donated 44 gift bags for the veteran’s home in the community, to display honor and care for those who served.
It wasn’t just the church that showed up on October 1st though. Members from City Council, the police and fire departments, as well as FW public schools were all present working alongside the churches. In Federal Way it is clear to see that the people of faith live in a way that says, “We Love Our City”.