By Megan Harrison, Missional Living Pastor
Let me just say it from the start: I love Community Service Day! This September 17th marks the third annual Community Service Day in Folsom, and it is one of my favorite events of the year. They have projects for everyone, for every age, for every interest. The day unites businesses, families, faith communities, and friends across boundaries and neighborhoods. And it helps continue to make the community we live in a beautiful place to be!
It’s no secret that God calls us to care for our actual neighbors, in addition to our theoretical ones (aka “everybody”). In Jeremiah the Lord tells Israel to “…seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare will you find your welfare” (29:7 ESV). Lance Ford and Brad Brisco talk about this extensively in their book Next Door As It Is In Heaven: Living Out God’s Kingdom In your Neighborhood. (I recommend it you check it out!) One of their main points early on is this: we are called to care for our actual, living and breathing, right-next-door-to-us neighbors.
And that’s what God does and has done for eternity! This is mostly easily seen in Jesus. In his book God Next Door: Spirituality and Mission in the Neighborhood, Simon Carey Holt writes, “The story of the incarnation is the story of God en-fleshed in a particular place at a particular time and within a very specific community. So too for us, the call of God is to be in a particular place and there to embody the presence and grace of God. It’s a call to locality.” The Folsom Community Wide Service Day is exactly that. An opportunity to be present, to incarnate God’s love for this specific, local community, to live out God’s Kingdom in this particular place. And you are invited!
So what does this day actually look like? It starts off with a bang, as Lakeside hosts a breakfast in the morning, with food donated from local businesses, while city officials speak to the huge crowd that has gathered. The room is filled to bursting with people from every background, ready to go out and love on people and places in Folsom.
There are projects that help protect and beautify the parks, schools, and public places. There are projects to encourage those in the military and those recently diagnosed with cancer. There is a CITY WIDE food drive that collects huge pallets stacked with food every year! How amazing is that? A food drive that unites every neighborhood in our entire city!
Have I mentioned that I love this day? What better way to partner with our community and show them the tangible roots of the love of Christ? What better way to build relationships and teams through service? What better way to get further invested in our community?
I highly encourage you to consider joining us this year in serving around Folsom. Find out what projects are still open at www.folsomcommunityservice.org. Hope to see you there!