Washington Church Partners with Neighbors

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Rev. Scott Roberts of Hope in Christ Christian Reformed Church in Bellingham, Wash., knows that it takes more than the members of a church to reach out to the neighborhood.

On Aug. 6, Roberts participated in a neighborhood work day that included members of his own church, a neighboring church, and the local PTA of Sunnyland School, an elementary school located in the neighborhood.

Volunteers clean up a local school playground.

Chris Lang

Volunteers painted a U.S. map and number chart on the asphalt, constructed benches, helped with landscaping, cleaned classrooms, and installed new curtains. Roberts said that many children were excited to see their school in top shape ready for the fall.

Roberts, along with the principal of the school, is a regular attendee of the Sunnyland Neighborhood Association meetings. He spoke with Sunnyland’s principal about potential work projects that church members could participate in.

“Getting members interested wasn’t that hard. I just kept talking about the good conversations I was having at the neighborhood association and encouraged others to join,” Roberts said.

The work day was the first neighborhood project in which Hope in Christ CRC members have participated. Roberts hopes to expand the church’s involvement in the neighborhood through additional work projects, movie nights, and block parties. “If we truly believe God is sovereign, then we must believe that he placed our church in our neighborhood in order to impact the area for Christ,” he said.

 Roberts began attending neighborhood association meetings two-and-a-half years ago, when he moved to Bellingham. “I spent a lot of time praying the past few years about how God could use us. I walked the neighborhood many hours, praying the streets and observing.”

About the Author

Amy Toornstra is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Salem, Oregon.

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