WARETOWN – As part of their Team Vital ministry action plan, Waretown UMC held their first SOS (Sunday of Service) on September 16 with a vision to have a Sunday in which people would gather at church for worship and then leave, dispersing to engage with the community through mission work.
“Our day was beautiful and sunny and began with a light breakfast and a meaningful short worship service,” said Pastor Dawn Corlew.
Volunteers received and wore red t-shirts with the church’s vision statement: ‘We are a neighborhood church faithfully serving God and the community with love and hope.’
“We achieved our goal to have 150 volunteers from the church and the community,” stated Corlew.
All ages served while some volunteers stayed at the church to make cards for military personnel, nearly 250 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and packing backpacks filled with toiletries, slippers and other necessities for the homeless. Others went outside the church in the community cleaning up and helping out at Family Promise, Barnegat Lighthouse Center, the Barnegat Historical Society, Dunfee Elementary School and Potter’s Pantry in Bayville. The church’s choir sang, conducted a short service, brought homemade lap blankets and provided snacks at the Barnegat Nursing Home. By the end of the day, 12 organizations and eight individuals were served.
Corlew traveled to each site throughout the day to help and provide encouragement. At noon, volunteers returned to the church for fellowship, lunch and sharing about their experiences.
“The feeling in the room was uplifting,” said Corlew. “Many stories were shared and they all had one thing in common – love for our community.”
One mother who participated was grateful for her whole family having the opportunity to serve together.
Another volunteer said, “It feels good to help with a group and to contribute to the community by going out and being a help.”
As part of the church’s Team Vital Action Plan, the S.O.S. event was the beginning of an initiative to involve more people in service and mission. Their Team Vital grant issued by GNJ helped purchase supplies needed for the day.
“It was definitely a day we will add to our yearly calendar and encourage other churches to try it,” said Corlew.
Find out more about Team Vital, click here.