Salt in your Community

by Kathy Marson

Melia Foss and Ruth Conner enjoying the playground at Cheney Adventist Church. Photo by Ezra Foss
Theodore Borders enjoying the blow-up slide at the Family Fun Fest at Valley Adventist Church. Photo by Michele Borders
Theodore trying his hand at ringing the bell. Photo by Michele Borders
Cecily and Eliana Foss enjoying the monkey bars at in Four Lakes at the Cheney Church playground. Photo by Ezra Foss

Spokane and Four Lakes, Wash., July 15, 2014  -  Teaching his followers how to live in their communities, Jesus told them, “be salty and to be like a light shining on a hill.” A thousand years before this, King Solomon said, “doing right elevates a nation and when righteous people bless a city, it is exalted.”1

These words of wisdom are divinely inspiring to Christians and become the marching orders for how we interact with the people around us.

Have you ever wondered, how does one become a salty Christian? And how does one know where to shake? Since Jesus is the prime example, we should emulate him. He spent more time building relationships and healing people than he spent preaching. He went to parties, became their friend, and met their needs.2

Playing at the Community Playground

“Come with me to the happiest place on earth,” said a little lad in Four Lakes, Washington. He pulled his mother’s hand and insisted that she come. The two strolled down the street to the Cheney Adventist Church where there is a new jungle gym and other playground equipment. “This,” said the boy, “is the happiest place on earth.”

Two and a half years ago, the Cheney Church bought the new playground equipment even though their church had few children and their school closed years ago. They wanted to make sure the neighbors had a place to play baseball and could enjoy a park-like playground.

They recently took a survey of their neighborhood, asking what kinds of things they would like in the playground. “We want to increase our presence outside,” said Jerremy, pastor of the Cheney Adventist Church. “The neat thing about the playground is that we are focusing on what is already happening and where God is intersecting our church with the community.” They hope to tabulate the results of the survey and add something to the playground that will meet the needs of the neighbors. Jerremy is excited about this project. “The playground is a start, a place where we can talk to the community.”

Family Fun Fest

Family Fun Fest in the Spokane Valley was held for the second time this summer. Organizer, Dusty Borders, Outreach Coordinator for the Valley Adventist Church, said, “last summer we had 4 to 5 people attend from the community, this time we had 40 to 50.”

The event was held in July and was a free mini carnival for kids. With food for sale kids and parents could also enjoy tick-tac-toe, can smash, high striker bell-ringer and spin art. They also had two inflatables for the kids, one with an obstacle course and another called “kid zone” for younger ones. New this year was a petting zoo with goats, a donkey, rabbits, chickens and ducks.

“People loved it,” said Dusty, “it’s a fun way to get in touch with the community.” They provided GLOW, information about the school and held a drawing. They received a new Bible Study interest.

When we treat others as Jesus would, looking out for the well-being of others, we are truly following Jesus. It can only be accomplished through a love for others, the same kind of love Jesus has for us. The Apostle Paul said, “When we give happiness to others in a way that helps them with their needs, this can also save them.”3

The quotes below were paraphrased in the article

1 Matthew 5:13-16, Proverbs 11:10-11, 14:34
2 Ministry of Healing p. 143
3 1 Corinthians 10:33

Author’s Note: A little salt goes a long way, do you have a story to share? We’d love to find out how your church or school is salting your community with love and community service. Contact Kathy at 509-242-0512. 

Making Jesus Happy  - a new story http://www.uccsda.org/News/news2014-07-17