posted on March 20
“Loving God, Serving People” is Open Doors United Methodist Church’s mission statement. On Sunday, March 18, the congregation and guests of Open Doors UMC had the opportunity to do both by having their first Serve Day. Over 90 people at both the Kiester and Wells campuses took part in Serve Day, a day to worship God by serving others with real-time, hands-on projects.
The day started with worship – Sunday worship held at the normal time, only shortened considerably. At the close of worship, enthusiastic participants moved on to work at their choice of several different service projects. There were a variety of projects for every age, ability, and interest. The projects were generally wrapped up by noon.
The service projects completed that morning were:
- Delivered freshly-baked homemade meals to 15 local area families.
- Made fleece ponchos & hat sets for 5 young children of low-income families – a gift when they get their car seat from Minnesota Valley Action Council.
- Decorated and filled 30 snack bags for patients and their companions who come for treatment at the Cancer Center in Albert Lea.
- Decorated and filled 41 Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) bags, then hung one on each residents’ doors at Broadway Apartments, a senior independent living facility.
- Made dozens (approx. 500!) of handmade cards for families at the Ronald McDonald House, as well as members of the military.
- Visited 12+ elderly church members in their homes, Parkview Care Center, and The Shepherd’s Inn assisted living facility, and gave them muffins, cookies, and handmade cards made by Open Doors’ after-school “Mission Kids” group.
- Completed small household projects in 5 people’s homes.
- Made 17 fleece tie-blankets for The Reach Drop-In Center for homeless and at-risk teens and young adults in Mankato.
People of all ages, from 4 to 94, worked together on these projects. One of the comments heard was that it was such a wonderful intergenerational activity. Another comment was that they got to know the other people they worked with much better. Many said, “It was fun!” It was not only fun, but also fulfilling, as it brought joy knowing they were helping others. It also helped demonstrate what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
A special thanks goes to Thrivent Financial who donated funds to help purchase materials and supplies. As a way to give back to the community, Thrivent provides seed money to volunteers who form Action Teams with the purpose of making an impact in their local community. And that is what Open Doors UMC is striving to do, make an impact in their communities by Loving God and Serving People.