University church, currently under Pastor Lawrence S. Dorsey, Sr., has a long history of community and church service for Jesus. The Bible tells us, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4, ESV). University church has demonstrated several examples of community service.
University’s evangelism team faithfully led the church in a monthly homeless outreach. The church members would bring socks, blankets, or gift cards throughout the month to be packaged adding a snack, toiletries, and Bible literature. Every fourth Sabbath, the members would distribute them to homeless in the community, usually about 100 packs per month.
Every Wednesday, University’s back parking lot becomes a neighborhood food bank. The community services team works together sort, package, and distribute the food. Long lines of people come for free groceries and a smile.
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by giving young mothers diapers and wipes for their little ones? The Adventist Youth (AY) team led out and trained the youth to organize and compassionately distribute items which also included face masks, religious literature and packaged gifts for all mothers handmade by the Sabbath School department.
“The neighbors were shown love and know that we cared enough to listen and to have prayer with them by the elders,” said Kimberly Coleman, who helped distribute. It was a TMI event (Total Member Involvement), and 315 diaper packs and gifts were happily given to our church neighbors.
Last year ended with the annual December AY community service toy giveaway called God’s Gift Box. It’s a personal mission with our church neighbors by letting our youth give the 360 toys to neighborhood children. Supervised youth and young adults were given specific leadership duties unfolding their hidden talents. Gift bags were also prepared for teens and adults including lots of free Bible material and invitations to a list of church activities. There was a steady stream of families coming into the parking lot event filled with joyous music and friendly people. Spanish-speaking members came to interpret and many different church groups came to help, making it another TMI project.
“The presents we gave weren’t the most valuable gifts,” said Trinity Armstrong. “It was the words, works, and love of Jesus.”
Through the community service projects, we have seen visitors come to the church for their first time. University church embraced the theme “I will go.”