Change The World Day 2018… It is all about community.

United Methodist pastor Rev. Mike Slaughter had a concept — if every church went outside their walls and made a difference in their community, we would indeed Change The World.

I believe our county and community make a difference every day throughout the year.

How? Let’s name a few things … food pantries throughout the county, volunteers packing Super Packs through Action Ministries to provide children meals when school is not in session; Great Days of Service where homes are repaired; cemeteries are cleaned up, and shut-ins are visited; a stranger buying someone’s breakfast who is in line behind them at Chick-fil-A; a community rallying together in prayer and fundraising for one of our police officers who was critically wounded just doing his job to make sure we are safe every day; a football team, band and cheerleaders walking arm in arm across a football field in support of him and our first responders; a city initiative and volunteers helping children improve their reading; and a stranger helping a dear sweet lady who fell in a parking lot, called an ambulance, waited with her and went to the hospital to make sure she was all right.

These are just a fraction, a small fraction of the good things that happen every day in our county and community.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, you will experience the community at its finest at Change The World Day. Hundreds of volunteers from churches of all denominations, civic groups, businesses, first responders, scouting programs, and schools will join as a community, one faith, God’s people. That within itself is worth the entire day. The smiles, hugs and fellowship you see among people working together, making new friends, and being the hands and feet of Jesus are priceless.

We will have a Community Service Fair to share what is available right here in our community for education, health, recreation, arts, and assistance. In the Gifts of Grace, for those in need, there will be coats and blankets which so many have come to depend on receiving here each year for the winter months. There will be food, health items, haircuts, and resources to hopefully and prayerfully be just that thing that one of our guests that day needs to ease a stress or strain on their lives.

Will have our Produce Drop. There will be sweet potatoes upon sweet potatoes to bag that will be given to everyone who attends on Saturday. Food pantries from all over the county, the Salvation Army and Repairers of the Breach will come and get truckloads of potatoes to take back and distribute in their areas of the county.

But with all the education and services we cannot gather without providing lots of just good fun and fellowship. There will be music, a fall festival with games and prizes, jumpies, face painting and a petting zoo. The Newton County School System book bus will be here giving away books. And of, course, there will be lots of good food.

There will be designated parking off Monticello and Church streets (just look for signage) and down Conyers Street. The high-rise parking near the Baptist Church is also available. We ask that guests don’t park in front of businesses so as not to block customers. There will be golf carts and the Covington Trolley available to give you a ride for free to and from the event.

So, whether you are volunteering or just attending, just remember this day is about community, God’s people being His hands and feet. It takes a community to make it happen through collections, donations and service.

And my prayer is everyone who attends feels welcome, leaves here a little better than when they came and feels and sees the love of Jesus in everyone they meet on Saturday. Hope to see you there!

The Change The World event will take place Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., hosted by Covington First United Methodist Church,

1113 Conyers St., Covington. For more information, call Covington First UMC , 770-786-7305.

Claudia Minge

Church facilitator

Covington First United Methodist Church

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