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Magnolia involves members again in Service Sundays

During congregational strategic planning in 2018, Magnolia UCC in Seattle identified that being of service to the community is a high priority.

“Our Community in Action Sundays were born out of that planning. We held two large events prior to COVID and this year were able to bring it back to our community and our congregation.,” said Marci Scott-Weis, pastor.

Group removes invasive plants at Thorndike Park. Other volunteers help with the Project Linus blanket project. Photo courtesy of Magnolia UCC

This year there drew about 75 participants from the church’s partner Boy Scout troop, neighboring churches, the congregation and the community.

“We sent teams to seven sites working on making blankets for kids going into foster care to planting trees at Discovery Park to packing emergency cold weather bags for the Ballard Food Bank,” she said. “It is one of our most treasured events, providing an opportunity for the MUCC community to ‘be the church’ in our world.”

Projects participants joined included:

• A team made fleece blankets for kids going into foster care through PRroject Linus.

• At Thorndyke Park Habitat Restoration, a team removed aggressive weeds and maintained areas, restoring natural plants.

• A group went to Discovery Park to plant trees.

• Another group visited the Seattle Animal Shelter to do help with sheltered animals.

• A team of six prepared 100 Warm Weather Kits for the Ballard Food Bank. Each went around a table and put kleenex, tylenol, hand warmers, lip balm, a comb, socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste and shampoo in a bag.

• Two helped prepare welcome bags for Queen Anne Helpline multiservice center.

Sheila Vortman and Ruth Beckett had 17 help at the church to create fringe on fleece blankets given to children in crisis when police or firefighters come when they experience trauma.

“It’s something easy that children and adults can do indoors,” Sheila said.

Betsy Fornoff said the church first did the Community in Action Sunday or Service Sunday in February 2019. COVID meant this was the second year they could do the projects.

She wrote simple affirming messages that she put in the welcome bags for the helpline.

After the service projects, people gathered in the fellowship for a soup and salad lunch.

Betsy would like to see more people in the neighborhood involved, and shares the idea with other PNC churches.

“God was hanging out with us as we did these services,” she said. “We hope those not inclined to attend worship know there many ways to be the church without sitting in a pew.

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Copyright © Pacific NW Conference United Church of Christ News March 2023


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