Faith in Action spreads charity

Published 4:28 pm Friday, May 14, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

Members of a Washington church will spend part of Saturday doing good deeds and spreading Christ’s message throughout the community.
First Church of Christ is observing its third Faith in Action day this weekend, according to Mark Lilley, outreach and involvement minister.
“We’re doing projects all over the community, and just doing it in the name of Jesus,” Lilley said. “We’re doing acts of kindness in the community.”
The day of sharing has a theme, “Don’t just go to church, be the church,” according to Lilley. The event gives participants the opportunity to leave the church pews and take Christian kindness directly into the community.
Lilley acknowledged that Faith in Action has met with some skepticism since it began in the spring of 2009. The church observes this new tradition each spring and fall.
“People are just not used to receiving stuff for free. There are so many gimmicks out there,” he said. “They’re looking for a catch.”
But there’s no catch, Lilley assures the community.
“We’re just trying to share the message of Christ through our works, and also giving a helping hand to somebody in need,” he said. “We’re just trying to help everyone.”
Saturday’s acts of kindness will include washing windshields and pumping gas at local gas stations, cleaning a senior citizen’s yard, volunteering at Eagle’s Wings, painting at the Beaufort County Boys &Girls Club site in Washington and Washington Manor Rest Home, picking up roadside trash and baking cookies for those working in the emergency room at Beaufort County Medical Center. Volunteer crews are planning to do landscaping work at Chocowinity Primary School, Bath Elementary School and the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center in Washington.
Lilley estimated that around 170 members of the church’s congregation will gather for Saturday’s workday, which begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs until lunchtime.
“We have volunteers as young as junior-high school, and several families are doing this together,” Lilley said. “It gives families a chance to get to know each other better while working on a project.”
Faith in Action has been well-received by the church congregation.
“It’s just a great day that folks enjoy,” Lilley said. “Every time we’ve done it, people seem to get so much out of it. It’s brought our church closer together.”
Faith in Action is just one component of First Church of Christ’s outreach into the community, Lilley added.
“We’ll be handing out water at the Summer Festival and taking up donations for Haiti,” he said.
Congregation members have collected shoes, calling the project Soles for Souls, to bring comfort to victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The church has conducted car checks for senior citizens and young mothers in town, according to Lilley.