Most of us will never serve in an elected position. Most of us will not have great wealth. Most of us will not make some great discovery. Most of us feel we can do little in face of all the problems in the world. But the truth is for one day at least, you can be a world changer.
On Saturday Oct. 10 is the time for the eighth annual “Change the World Day” in Newton County. This is a time when we drop all the labels that can create barriers between our churches and come as one people of God to serve the people of our community. The event will be at the Covington First United Methodist Church from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Every great crusade has started as an idea in the back of someone’s mind. The Rev. Mike Slaughter launched this idea nationwide a decade ago. It came out of his ministry at the United Methodist Church in Ginghamsburg, Ohio. His idea was to bring the communities of faith together to serve their community. It is in no way an answer to all the world’s problems, but it can make a dramatic difference in the lives of many.
On this one day, hundreds of lives will be touched right here in Covington. The generosity of the churches, civic groups, organizations, and businesses make it possible to serve so many in a single day. Of course most of those participating do similar ministries all year. But this day makes it possible for many to find the help they need but may have missed.
Claudia Minge, the Coordinator of Covington’s “Change the World Day” and a part of the staff of the Covington First United Methodist Church said, “Covington FUMC brought this day of service to the people in the communality and offers their property as the host site, but in no way feel this is a Methodist event but a community of faith event. On this day we are not separate denominations. We are God’s people.”
Whether you volunteer to help with the day or come by to attend, you will find a tremendous variety of events. There is a Community Service Fair that will have over 80 booths sharing information about services available in our area for health, education, recreation, and welfare. In this area there will flu shots and health screenings available.
Early before the start of the event, volunteers will be busy setting up. One area is called “Gift of Grace.” In the early morning a produce drop occurs. Fresh produce will be sacked for both giving out during the event and to be delivered to area food pantries. There will be other food available as well as food to eat during the event. One father was overheard last year to say, “My family came here hungry today and now we have been blessed.”
The produce will come through the St. Andrews Society’s Harvest of Hope. Fresh produce is often what is missing in so many lives.
As winter is right around the corner, there will be blankets available. Over a thousand were given out last year. It is hard for many of us to imagine being cold for the lack of a blanket. This simple gift might not be a headline maker. But for the one who will now be able to be warm, it is indeed a world changer.
There will be available hundreds of warm coats, sweaters, gloves, and socks. They will either on racks or tables by size, color, and types. Again for the one has no coat, this is indeed a world changer. The food, blankets, and clothing are all available at no cost.
Sometimes, we take for granted the simplest of things that we take for granted that can change the world of another. Showers will be available for those who are homeless. There will be an area for ladies to get their hair cut. Last year there was a mother who had never been able to get her children’s hair cut because she could not afford to do so. What a difference this made in these lives.
Too many times poverty means that children miss out of opportunities to have fun that others take for granted. A part of the event there will be events for a great fall festival for all ages to have fun. You cannot put a price tag on the laughter of a child having fun. For a little while, it will change the child’s world.
You can be a part of this effort. All are invited to set up a both so share the mission of their church or civic organization. There is not charge to have a booth. Contact Claudia Minge, at 770-786-7305, or email@example.com. You can also use this same contact information to find out how to volunteer to be a part of this day. You can also get more information where to bring food, blankets, and clothing to donate for distribution. You are urged to be in prayer for this day and all the lives that will be enriched.
You are invited to stop by and see God’s people at work. You are invited to be a part of the answer to how together we can make the world better for so many.
B. Wiley Stephens is a retired United Methodist Minister and author who now resides in Covington.