Churches prepare for service

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Congregants of two local churches will team up this week to do acts of service for the community.

Suffolk Presbyterian Church and West End Baptist Church have participated in Operation Inasmuch together for several years in a row. The national program encourages churches to send their members outside the church buildings to get involved in the community.

Past efforts of the two churches have included building handicapped ramps for disabled members of the community. But this year, the projects on the actual weekend of the event are scaled back, because the churches are doing more throughout the year, said Maryanne Persons, a Suffolk Presbyterian member.

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“We kick off Friday evening with a joint potluck supper between the two churches and do a little mini-worship to bless the event and sort the goods for the yard sale,” Persons said.

Also on Friday, a group that has been working in advance to create quilts will deliver them to a wounded soldiers group.

On Saturday, Suffolk Presbyterian, 410 N. Broad St., will host a yard sale from 8 a.m. to noon. Everything at the yard sale will cost 25 cents.

“The point is not to make a lot of money off of others, but to give people the opportunity to purchase what they need as a form of service and yet still have money for things they need in their life, whether it’s medicine, food or whatever,” Persons said.

Proceeds from the yard sale will benefit the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia’s backpack program at Elephant’s Fork and Booker T. Washington elementary schools.

At West End Baptist Church from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, participants will be copying, sorting and stapling materials for the Book Buddies program run by West End. The program helps struggling readers work with volunteers to improve their skills.

And finally, Saturday’s activities will include a cemetery cleanup and recording gravesite locations at Oaklawn Cemetery, near the city’s Human Resources building at 440 Market St., from 8 a.m. to noon.

Persons said the annual event is “a way for us to celebrate faith together.”
“We are small churches, and we’ve kept coming back to this program each year, because both congregations feel moved by the Holy Spirit,” Persons said.

The weekend will wrap up with joint worship on Sunday at Suffolk Presbyterian. West End’s pastor, Dr. Bob Pipkin, will lead the service.

For more information, call Suffolk Presbyterian at 539-3213 or West End Baptist at 539-8771.