The “to do” list is long for the eight local churches who came together last Saturday, May 5 to help their community at CAREfest.
Over 600 members of The Bridge Church, Central Christian Church, Elim Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, Hope Foursquare Church, The Lake Church, Snohomish Faith Assembly and Snohomish Community Church all pitched in to complete 60 projects from the north end of Lake Stevens into the City of Snohomish and beyond.
The parishioners have many reasons for wanting to get involved in their communities. Gordon Everett, Pastor of Missions, Outreach and Newcomers at the Snohomish Community Church focuses on the two main reasons.
“First, we really do care about our communities: the people around us, the agencies that work among us (schools, nonprofits, first-responders, city agencies), and the environment we all live in together,” Everett explains. “Second, serving others with love is what Jesus did, and we’re trying, however imperfectly, to follow Him. Jesus once said, for even I, the Son of Man, did not come to be served, but to serve others, and to give My life as ransom for many. Serving others is one of the core values of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.”
CAREfest has been around for seven years now with hundreds of projects under their belts. This year many schools were “adopted” by CAREfest participants.
Included in the work at the schools were classroom spring-cleaning, pressure washing and all manner of landscaping, painting and storage chest installation.
Widows were helped, painting and landscaping were done at the entry signs to Lake Stevens, Sherwood Community Services, Cocoon House, Everett Gospel Mission and many other organizations were affected by the outreach of these church members. There was even a blood drive held at Elim Lutheran Church.
“We believe it’s part of our calling as the church, to support, improve and add value to our community in practical, hands-on ways. After all, look how much Christ did for us,” Everett explained. “So we see giving and serving as one small part of God’s redemptive work in our community.”
It’s true that many lives were touched through the service of these church members but probably the most touched were those who did the serving.
“The most important thing is the benefit to the people we serve. Hopefully we’re meeting needs. It’s not about us. And we want to do that all year long, not just a one-day event,” Everett said. “That said, however, it’s also good for those who serve. When we serve others with the right heart and right mindset, it changes us in good ways. Each time we lay aside “myself” and serve others we can become a little less self-centered, a little more self-giving, and grow to be a little more like Jesus who we follow.”
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)