inform - inspire - unite
... value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.' (Philippians 2:3-4)
'Up and Go Sunday'
Belmore Road Church of Christ, VIC
One of my favourite songs is Freely, Freely. The words in this song tell us to go out in Jesus’ name and show others the love of the Lord through our actions.
God forgave my sin in Jesus' name, I've been born again in Jesus' name,
and in Jesus' name I come to you to share his love as he told me to.
He said 'Freely, freely you have received; freely, freely give.
Go in my name, and because you believe others will know that I live.
On Sunday, 13 October 2019, Belmore Road Church of Christ held our first 'Up and Go Sunday'. After a shortened worship assembly, everyone in the congregation was encouraged to get up and go out into the local community to share ‘His love as He told us to.’ We used our talents in different ways, taking part and serving in a wide range of activities.
The Gardening and Clean-up Teams: One team helped a very pregnant mother of three living in our local community. Her home both inside and out needed a lot of cleaning and organising. After a yard tidy-up and some rubbish removal, her children were able to play in the yard and her home was now a fit place to raise a newborn baby.
Another team worshipped and partook the Lord’s Supper in the home of some elderly church members. They then spent time both in fellowship and helping the couple with some garden maintenance.
There was another team that worked in the garden of a member’s elderly parents. That team helped with the couple’s overgrown garden, giving it a clean-up in time for Spring.
One other clean-up team helped organise a widow’s garage. This job needed extra muscles. Many hands really do make a difference to a job that otherwise seems overwhelming!
The Shopping Team: This team was made up of mostly of our children and young people. They headed off to Aldi to purchase non-perishable food items. They returned to the church building and packed food hampers ready for delivery to a local organisation which regularly hands out food hampers to single parents who are experiencing a tough time.
The Prayer, Worship and Evangelistic Teams: One prayer group stayed in the church building and spent time praying for all the different teams, asking God’s guidance and wisdom in the various interactions so that his name could be glorified through the acts of service. They also wrote notes of encouragement to be added to the food hampers and notes to be sent to various members, encouraging them in their service and walk with God.
Another team of ladies worshipped together and shared the Lord's Supper in the home of a mother and daughter who find it hard to get to church due to health issues. The gathering involved people with various nationalities. The fellowship and worship was very uplifting for all who participated, proving that different languages don’t have to be a barrier for sisters serving each other.
One team of singers headed off to a local nursing and retirement home to encourage the residents with beautiful songs of praise and worship. Several residents joined in the a cappella singing of hymns which they knew, like Amazing Grace. There was also time to fellowship with the elderly residents – sharing and listening to the stories of their past. The nursing home has extended an open invitation for more singing visits in future.
A group from our Chinese fellowship headed to a local shopping centre, inviting passers-by to come to church gatherings by handing out pamphlets about our Chinese worship times.
The Lunch Team: A small team of dedicated workers prepared a sausage sizzle for all the weary workers to enjoy on their return. Over lunch, we enjoyed fellowship together and shared stories of our day’s experience. There was a definite buzz in the air!
Some of the feedback from the day included the following:
‘It was great to see adults and children pitch in to make a difference in the life of someone we just met. I could see the love behind everyone’s actions – love for someone like us who have been made in the image and likeness of God.’ (Gianella Rodriguez)
‘With collective effort, we proved once again that love is the greatest. Reaching out to people, touching their hearts with various activities and sharing the love of Christ is an amazing thing. And we did it differently this time.’ (Chorlian Karumanchi)
‘As a church, we provided community service. It was the first time that we took part in such an activity, and I can confidently say that together as a team we managed to do quite well. I participated in a group that took part in singing to the elderly at a retirement home. The group was amazing and it was filled with wonderful individuals who had singing talent.’ (Yenuk Watapuluwa)
The Bible sums up the actions of our spiritual family on this first 'Up and Go Sunday' in this way:
'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.' (Philippians 2:3-4)
Dave and Rhonda Tabe are part of the Belmore Road Church of Christ (Melbourne),
where Dave serves as a deacon. email@example.com