Local Presbyterian congregations come together for ‘Be the Church’ day of service

Village Presbyterian hosted a hygiene kit assembly line as part of the "Be the Church" service projects.
Village Presbyterian hosted a hygiene kit assembly line as part of the “Be the Church” service projects.

Most Sundays find members of Village Presbyterian Church and other metro Presbyterian congregations in their pews, listening to a sermon and singing hymns. This past Sunday, though, members of six KC-area Presbyterian churches spent much of their normal worship day outside the sanctuary walls.

Branded “Be the Church” day, the effort sent more than 400 volunteers across the city to assist in a wide range of project.

At Village Presbyterian, dozens of volunteers packed hygiene kits that Heart to Heart International will distribute to disaster victims. A group organized by Heritage Presbyterian Church visited the Good Samaritan Center in Olathe. Another group rolled up their sleeves at the Urban Christian Academy, cleaning up the facilities and helping build a driveway.

The idea for the coordinated volunteer day started a couple of years ago when leaders from local Presbyterian churches began meeting to talk about service opportunities.

“Out of those conversations bubbled up this idea of doing something together in a collaborative way that we hadn’t done before,” said Deborah White, director of mission at Village Presbyterian. “This is the first time we’ve really come together to do something like this in a coordinated effort.”

The participating congregations were from Village, Covenant, Grandview Park, Heritage, John Knox Kirk and Second Presbyterian churches.

Chad Andrew Herring, the pastor of John Knox Kirk and a member of the Prairie Village City Council, said the event gave a chance to members of smaller and larger churches to come together with a common purpose in benefiting the community.

“The idea is doing a day of service inside and outside the walls of the church,” he said.

Members of Second Presbyterian and other congregations worked on projects at the Urban Christian Academy.
Members of Second Presbyterian and other congregations worked on projects at the Urban Christian Academy.