For the fifth year in a row, area churches turned out on the second Saturday of July – one of the hottest days of the year – to “get outside the building” and show love to the community through service. Part of a nationwide movement, Serve Day is a day dedicated to uniting people of the Christian faith, regardless of differences in denomination or doctrine, to show the love their faith demands to their communities.
Over 39 churches participated this year in and around Scioto County, more than any other year past. Although an exact count has not been taken, organizers believe over 1,200 people participated. In 2018, 23 churches participated.
The day began in the early hours at Spartan Municipal Stadium, where volunteers worked hard to ready the venue for the crowd to come. While not an essential part of the day, organizers of Serve Day have found it to be a great way to energize participants in Serve Day and to give them an opportunity to come together in worship before going out to serve. Since churches from across the county are participating – as far as Lucasville, Minford, and Wheelersburg, to name a few – only a portion came to the stadium on Saturday morning, but organizers counted the crowd at more than 550.
From there, after worshiping and praying together, participants departed by 8:35 to go to their individual project sites. Most projects lasted between three and five hours, although some were shorter or longer. And while many projects involved physical labor, many projects were more personal. In particular, many groups and churches decided to call scriptural callings to minister to the poor and elderly in their communities.
Projects completed on Saturday included: Roadside cleanup on US 52 coming from New Boston into Portsmouth,
A youth carnival for residents of the “bottoms” in Lucasville, Ministry to nursing homes in Wheelersburg, weeding, painting, and community maintenance in and around Bannon Park, a completely free car wash, church services at nursing homes, cleaning and painting trash cans on Chillicothe Street, service at the local homeless shelter, private projects helping families who suffered from recent disaster or loss, providing breakfasts for hungry children, litter cleanups in multiple communities, and dozens more…
Participants were encouraged to buy a Serve Day shirt, provided generously at a discount from Mary’s Spirit Shop. Any excess funds generated from the Serve Day Committee selling t-shirts were donated to Potter’s House, a ministry in Sciotoville.
Although Serve Day has ended for 2019, participants are determined to continue showing service and love to their communities beyond Serve Day. Organizers believe their faith compels them to show love and service to their neighbors, and while Serve Day is a great opportunity to show that love and service, so is every other day of the year.
A kid enjoying a waterslide in the sunny heat on Saturday.