NOTE: I came across this inspiring report of churches stepping up to serve the community in light of the US government shutdown and thought I’d share about it directly from the press release. Feel free to share, link, pass along — whatever works to inspire others to do the same. Let’s get this service party started!
With up to 31,000 employees being furloughed and over 190,000 small businesses affected directly by the government shutdown, New Jersey residents and businesses are far from escaping the wrath of politics being played out hundreds of miles away in Washington D.C.
The reality of the current circumstances also reaches down to those with the greatest needs and served by social service agencies across the state. While politicians continue to lock horns, a coalition of churches has stepped up to come together and serve those that have the greatest need across the state.
The Church Steps Up
“Jesus Loves Jersey” is a grassroots movement of New Jersey churches coming together to love & serve communities across New Jersey state. Churches involved have two things in common: They love Jesus and they love New Jersey. Organizers have seen this as a chance for churches in New Jersey to unite under a common banner of compassionate service that celebrates the collective impact by working together.
Tim Lucas, Lead Pastor of Liquid Church, a non-denominational Christian church involved in the Jesus Loves Jersey campaign noted, “This is a great example of when the church has the opportunity to go from the seats to the streets and show our love for our neighbors with no strings attached.”
Highlighted community service opportunities include:
- Extreme makeover renovation of New Brunswick’s Youth Empowerment Services // a mentoring and tutoring organization focused on supporting at-risk youth.
- Partnership with Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ // Serving children with Autism (NJ has highest rate in nation).
- Support for Nutley Family Services Bureau in Nutley, NJ // Local social service agency celebrating their 100th year of service will give free banquet with meals donated by Franklin Steakhouse to families in need.
- Outdoor festival for special needs children and their families on-site at the Franklin Steakhouse on the same day.
- Renovation of entire facility and classrooms at Neighborhood House in Morristown, NJ // School supplies donation and distribution to working and impoverished families served by the agency.
The campaign will accommodate over 3,000 volunteers with 10,000+ volunteer-hours of community service. Overall, more than 55 different community service events and activities are being planned the week of October 12-19, 2013.
The public is invited to sign-up to join any of the community service projects listed on the campaign website: www.jesuslovesjersey.com
“Washington might look at all of these people in need as a statistic, but our churches see that every number has a name and every name has a need. When the government shuts down, it’s a chance for the church to step up,” said Lucas.
The US government shut down has produced a need for the church to step up and do the job God gave it to do. What has the church done (or what should the church do) in your community?