Linda Ewert has served as associate pastor for Pastoral Care and Christian Formation at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church since 2007. She is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She is married to Morris. They have two married daughters and four grandchildren.
How does a church build relationships, make new friends and share God’s love with the community all at the same time?
On September 20, 2015, Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church had its first “Love Your Community Day.” Alexanderwohl is a rural congregation near the small town of Goessel, Kansas.
Sixteen projects were identified and completed on Sunday morning, between 8:00 a.m. and noon.
The projects in Goessel included:
- cleaning up and weeding the school garden
- repairing and painting the Bethesda bridge
- providing a worship service at Bethesda Home
- weeding at the Sunflower apartments
- painting at the Mennonite Heritage Museum
- doing a prayer walk around Goessel
- yard clean-up the home of an elderly couple
- fall clean up at the Bethesda Home garden
- making freezer meals for Goessel Ministerial Alliance to give to people who are in need of food.
Country projects were:
- cutting and delivering firewood
- house and yard clean-up at the farm of an elderly man
- yard clean-up, painting and work on the farm house of a single adult.
At the church women embroidered tea towels to give as a gift to a neighboring Mennonite church while others tied a couple of comforters to be given away to community families. Children colored pictures for residents at Bethesda Home and did little service projects around the church – cleaning and dusting. And finally, another group prepared the noon meal.
A total of 160 adults, youth and children worked together on all of these projects on Sunday morning. And then everyone gathered at the church to enjoy the noon meal together – including families from the community where we served in the morning.
New friendships were formed, relationships blessed and our faith was made stronger through this experience.
We learned that the kingdom of God flows through those who are open to being dispensers of God’s love and presence to others!