Church to reach out to community, promote missions

Published 5:57 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Washington church is breaking outside the walls of its congregation next weekend.

Sunday, First United Methodist Church in Washington is hosting its third-annual “The Church Has Left The Building” event. All Sunday long, residents dressed in dark blue shirts will be found scattered around Washington completing projects and helping others. The event is supposed to demonstrate that faith isn’t just about going to church — it’s about spreading the word of God.

“You are always the church. You’re not in church, you are always the church. You can be the church at any point in time during the day,” said Larry Lang, director of church missions.

The event will kick off at First United Methodist at 9 a.m. and members will be able to decide what program they want to pursue for the day — an “I Live Alone” program where members will help an elder that lives by himself with a project, organizing supplies at Eagle’s Wings, cleaning the carpets at Ruth’s House, singing on the waterfront as part of The Traveling Singers, creating “flood buckets” for flood victims, writing “letters of love” to pastors and/or visitors or participating in a prayer walk. Members will also hand out Bibles around town.

Each activity will help someone else, Lang said. Some they have been practicing for years, like the “I Live Alone” program, and some are fairly new. The “prayer walk” is a new concept for Lang, as it is only the second year they have implemented the activity. Lang said a group of church members will walk through the town, actively praying for individuals, a business or a school. It’s a non-labor intensive way to share God, according to Lang.

Lang said the mission event is designed to encourage church members to experience sharing God’s word, and is especially geared to those who may be young in their faith. The event will wrap up at 6 p.m. with a service that asks the question, “Where did you see God today?”

Lang said if just one person becomes motivated to have a serving heart and continues to serve or volunteer after Sunday, then the goal has been met.

“What you really hope for is that someone gets inspired and says, ‘You know what?

I’m going to volunteer, or start some path of volunteerism of spreading that love every day,’” Lang said.