October is not only National Domestic Violence Awareness Month,
it’s also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Pastor Jose Bourget was preaching at his new church in Chicago when he noticed a large event going on outside. Avon’s Walk for Breast Cancer route went directly in front of the church. The next year when he saw the 3,000 walkers coming by the church again, he admitted to the congregation, “We should be out there with them, not in here.”
Members of surrounding SDA churches were invited to come encourage participants. Fifty to seventy-five showed up, and they were joined by approximately 200 Avon cheerers. The event went so well that they ramped it up for the next year with balloons, noise makers and snacks. Through this involvement with the community, Pr Jose was invited to become the Faith-based Coordinator with the local police district.
The Lakeview SDA Church is also involved in community service in other ways. For example, they recently hosted a wellness day where they provided free health services, including massage and a number of medical tests — blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, computerized health age, and peak air flow. The Harvard STEP test was also given, and three doctors offered health counseling. Next year even more services are planned. The church did not have all of these resources, but functioned as a broker to bring the volunteers and professionals together to serve the community.
I’ll also mention the Thanksgiving meal the church helps provide for roughly 200 refugees each year. This feast is hosted by the North Shore SDA Church and is served in conjunction with Oasis, a group of SDA young adults across Chicagoland. To further serve the refugees, the North Shore Stars Pathfinder Club times their food drive to end just before the event so the collection can be given to the guests.
May we all look for creative ways like these to serve our communities. How could your church partner with other local congregations? There’s a lot of love to go around!
NOTE: All pictures retrieved from the Lakeview SDA Church website and used by permission.