Church spends a Sunday serving neighbors

Members of Greenwood United Methodist Church were blessed with a bright, sunny Sabbath on April 23 as they gathered for their second annual Arms Around Greenwood day of service.

More than 200 met at the Ed Wilkinson Pavilion in Greenwood’s Bell Park, sharing a meal before the Rev. John Embrey delivered the day’s message from the fifth chapter of Luke.

Just as Christ sent forth his disciples to be fishers of people, Embrey challenged Greenwood UMC members to make Greenwood their mission field with small acts of kindness through personal relationships. Smiling faces and eager spirits were abundant as GUMC began its day of service, which included:

  • Arms Around Greenwood included a free car wash offered by the church’s youth group.

    Delivering handcrafted lap throws and quilts to nursing home residents
  • Performing household chores for the elderly and homebound
  • Assembling packages of needed personal items and small blankets for new foster parents and children new to foster care
  • Mowing and trimming the lawn at the Old Jail Museum and some neighbors’ homes, cleaning and landscaping at the church’s historic Harper House and clearing trails at Greenwood Lake
  • Giving the church’s neighbors gifts of potted plants with invitations to worship
  • Placing appreciation signs in schoolteachers’ yards
  • Offering free car washes on Greenwood’s main thoroughfare (pictured above)
  • “Paying it forward” by placing quarters in laundry washing machines, buying lunches at fast food restaurants, loading groceries for people in store parking lots and paying for gasoline at service stations
  • Assembling boxes of homemade cookies for city Street Department employees and police officers, as well as Sebastian County Sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical first responders
  • Filling “birthday bags” with items needed to celebrate a birthday to be distributed to Greenwood UMC Food Bank recipients
  • Rebuilding a rock wall at a local cemetery
  • Collecting dog toys for the Humane Society and a local veterinarian’s practice.

After completing their acts of service, participants returned to the pavilion to enjoy faith-based films and fellowship, along with popcorn and drinks. Event leaders were amazed by the enthusiasm displayed as Greenwood UMC carried out its mission to love God, love others and to make a difference.

—submitted by Jan Dunn