One of the Triangle’s multi-campus churches plans to blanket the area in volunteerism and good deeds.
The Summit Church is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its ServeRDU initiative by working to better 10 local schools. Volunteers will tackle projects that include painting, landscaping and cleaning from July 30 through Aug. 1.
The focus is on improving schools because the first ServeRDU project, then known as Week of Hope, took place at Eastway Elementary School in Durham.
The Summit Church was founded in 1961 as Homestead Heights Baptist Church in Durham. Through the years the church saw peaks and valleys in its attendance, but a new era of growth began when the church re-launched as Summit in 2001.
Now Summit congregations meet at multiple locations weekly around Durham, Raleigh, Cary and Chapel Hill. Summit’s 2014 annual report counts average weekend attendance at more than 7,900 people.
ServeRDU will include three intense days of projects that need many hands to complete. To sign up as a volunteer, go to ServeRDU.com. The website also includes a list of schools served by the project, along with general descriptions of the tasks involved.
Matt Miglarese, Summit’s outreach pastor, said the church promotes a culture of neighbor helping neighbor.
“Our members have been changed by their own experience with God so that they now naturally are oriented toward working for others,” Miglarese said. “We often use the phrase ‘We serve because we’ve been served,’ which means that the love and mercy we’ve experienced from God propels us to have a new disposition of love toward others.”
In addition to working at the schools, volunteers are also collecting backpacks that will be donated to students. The church-wide goal is to fill 1,000 backpacks for elementary school students, 1,000 for middle school students and 1,000 for high school students.
The church is accepting donations for the project, and a list of suggested items is available online at summitrdu.onthecity.org.
Families, friends and small groups are invited to stuff backpacks and donate them.
One of the drop-off points is at the ServeRDU Picnic in the Park on July 28. That evening, church members will gather at the Durham Farmers’ Market on Foster Street at 6 p.m. for an evening of food trucks and fellowship.
While ServeRDU officially lasts three days this summer, church leaders hope the projects at the 10 local schools will lead to meaningful yearlong partnerships.
“In the past, we’ve had dozens of projects covering many schools, ministries and nonprofits,” said Katie Persinger, Summit’s communications director. “Those projects are now all ongoing throughout the year.”
Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at firstname.lastname@example.org.