Religion news — Congregation serves in the community and collect pledges for missionary work

There was a different air at worship service Sunday at Newberg Christian Church.

That might be because instead of everyone wearing their Sunday’s best, members of the congregation showed up in their work clothes, ready to get out and do some community service after gathering to GARY ALLEN - Pitching in -- Groups of congregants from Newberg Christian Church, including Pastor David Case (left) and Mark Ashby, descended on several sites Sunday for Epic Serve Day.

Sunday was Newberg Christian Church’s fourth annual “Epic Serve Day,” which provides congregants a wide array of options for giving back to the community, from helping deep clean the church’s Community Kitchen to a clean-up project near the Newberg Public Library.

“We try to do a lot of different things, have a lot of variety so that everybody has a place to serve,” volunteer minister Debbie Groat said. “We have people that want to go to the Oregon coast and that’s great, but we also have a lot of our seniors that really don’t want to or can’t go out, so we have projects that come in for them. We try offer a wide range that would appeal to anybody.”

Epic Serve Day also serves as a prelude to Faith Promise Sunday this weekend where the congregation will pledge to make contributions, over and above the normal tithes and offerings, to the church’s missionary endeavors.

“What they do is pray about that and God provides the funds, but they need to be looking for that,” Groat said. “So if they were to get an unexpected check in the mail, they think, ‘This is faith promise money. It’s not for me to spend.’ It’s looking for that and it grows our faith.”

Because people are asked not to specifically budget for the money, they are often surprised at how and how much money makes it their way.

“People watch for the blessing, so it’s kind of cool when it comes because you don’t budget for the money, you pray and save and hope that God provides it,” Groat said. “So it is really cool the stories we hear from people.”

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