This Labor Day weekend, one church congregation will embrace a special kind of labor.
Members of Grace Community Church in Raleigh are launching the inaugural Grace Serves, substituting the regular Sunday service with a day of community service.
Congregants will gather at 10 am Sunday, Sept. 3, just like every other Sunday. But after an abbreviated worship service they will split into two teams and tackle projects in the community near the church on Old Wake Forest Road. One group will head to Millbrook Exchange Park for a clean-up session, and another team will join Rise Against Hunger, formerly Stop Hunger Now, for a meal-packing session.
Grace Serves was created by senior pastor Nate Rector as the culmination of a teaching series on the hierarchy of spiritual needs.
“We have our basic needs and then we move up the hierarchy,” said Holly Cook, a church elder. “The series has looked at the different spiritual practices and areas of growth we need in order to grow as Christians and the final one is service.”
The teaching series has included a weekly message on spiritual needs, along with suggested Bible readings for the week. While spending Sunday serving the community is new for Grace, community service as a congregation is not.
“Our mission statement is loving Christ, loving our neighbor, living faithfully,” Cook said. “Service and reaching out both within the church to members but also to the community and the world is a core component of what Grace has always been about. Service and mission work is a core part of Grace and always has been because a big part of being a Christian is serving our neighbor.”
The weekend projects are open to all ages, and there is unlimited space. Members of the community who don’t attend Grace are also invited to share in the projects. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Cook at email@example.com.
Church elders are pleased with the interest and in how many members have already indicated they will serve. Cook says it is exciting to be in on the planning of this kind of community outreach.
“We want people in the area around Grace and anywhere in Raleigh to know who we are and what we do and how we love Jesus and how we love our neighbors.”
Grace Community Church is located at 7041 Old Wake Forest Road, Raleigh.
Carla Turchetti writes about faith news in Wake and Johnston counties. Send tips and stories ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.