Traditionally Labor Day is a much anticipated three-day weekend, bittersweet as it wraps up the summer with a final barbeque while celebrating the work force. But this year many unexpected good things happened to unsuspecting, but deserving people in the community.
Pastor Ted Jansen of Waynedale United Methodist Church challenged his congregation on Sunday, September 6th to witness to their faith by carrying out loving acts and service to others in the Waynedale area. “I want us to experience fun while we serve and make this a labor of love.” Pastor Jansen provided a list of suggestions and urged everyone to go forth and express God’s love for others. And the parishioners followed his lead.
Following the Sunday service a group of 10 people led by Pastor Ted and his wife Sue spent the next hour picking up debris in the lawn at the Waynedale Elementary School, while another group stayed indoors transferring donated items stashed on the second floor of the church to the gym in preparation of their upcoming “Freedom Day” event.
Others headed out to eat. One couple invited a church member who would be otherwise dining alone to join them and left an amazing tip for their waitress at Azar’s. Another followed suit and surprised a couple during lunch by paying for their meals and tip at Hall’s on Bluffton Rd., along with a handsome gratuity for their server who helped orchestrate the treat.
Bill and Linda Stark went door to door visiting neighbors of Winterset Association collecting food items for the Waynedale UMC food bank. “It was a beautiful day and a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with our neighbors” stated Linda. “They were extremely generous with their donations.”
One family will soon be hosting lunch for a group of parishioners who live either in senior communities or at home, but due to health concerns, are unable to attend church on a regular basis. Other members serve by consistently going to see those who are shut in. A parishioner reported spending time visiting via phone to a gentleman who is the full-time caregiver for his wife with Alzheimer’s.
A parishioner took a prayer walk and prayed for each of her neighbors as she passed their house, as well as making a financial donation to someone in need. Another bought gas cards for a neighbor who was having troubles. Yet another anonymously paid for a haircut for a young woman at Shear Illusions.
Marge Norton and church members who also belong to the Delta Rho Sorority each wrote thank you cards to the veterans who will be on the October 7th Honor Flight to Washington. Marge, a member of the Korean War Veterans Association, attended the dedication of the Korean Memorial that moved from O’Day Road to Concordia Gardens and personally knows of five veterans who will be on the upcoming flight.
From sharing coupons at the local Pizza King to dropping quarters in the dryer at the laundromat, to creating fall table arrangements for all to enjoy in the church fellowship hall, the list of good deeds continues on. One parishioner who invited a neighbor to accompany her to the library and helped her obtain a new library card, also spent time visiting with another church member in the hospital. When talking about her actions, she replied with a smile “It was a really good week!”
Pastor Ted Jansen was pleased with the success of the first time witness challenge. He hopes to repeat this idea on a regular basis. Waynedale United Methodist holds weekly services on Sunday at 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. as well as Thursday night at 7 p.m. Services are held at 2501 Church Street. The community is invited and welcomed to attend.