March 2012 - You Can Help Change the World!
On May 19-20, United Methodists all over the globe will go into their communities to serve others. Be a part of Change the World weekend!
During the weekend, United Methodist churches create and participate in a service or fundraising project that helps bring about positive change, whether it’s cleaning up school grounds, renovating homes or getting involved in global health efforts like Imagine No Malaria. The idea is to show Christ’s love and give others a chance to be part of something that can change lives.
“There is a clear connection between vital congregations and a willingness to take risks in mission and service within the community,” says the Rev. Greg Cox, Director of Connectional Ministries for the Western PA Conference. “With so many congregations taking these steps on the same weekend, we are showing the world what it means to love one another.”
Since it began in 2010, Change the World has impacted thousands of lives worldwide. More than 2,000 congregations registered last year, with projects ranging from developing community gardens to fighting human trafficking. The growing participation shows that people are hungry to make a difference.
The idea for Change the World weekend grew out of a book by the Rev. Mike Slaughter,challenging churches of every size “to be a mission outpost, living out Christ’s ideals in today’s world.” Slaughter notes that “even our smallest churches can have incredible impact when they leave their four walls to serve the needs of their neighbors, alongside of their neighbors.”
Think of the ways your congregation currently impacts your community. Build on something you already do or try something new that meets needs of people in your area or helps others you don’t even know.
You can stock a food pantry, clean local parks, build a ramp, offer free health services, or raise funds to save lives through Imagine No Malaria.
Once you select a project, be sure you find ways to invite others in the community to participate. And be sure someone registers your project at rethinkchurch.org.
National advertising will run for 13 weeks up to May 19-20 and point people to the rethinkchurch.org, website where registered churches appear on an interactive map. Closer to the date, volunteers from the community will be able to sign up. Visit rethinkchurch.org for examples, ideas and additional information.
News & Information Specialist
Western PA Conference