Asbury will mark 10th anniversary by serving
In a range of ways, Americans will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. On that Sunday, Tulsa’s Asbury UMC will carry out a project that other churches may want to duplicate.
Asbury member Mark Springer noted that speeches, sermons, and more on Sept. 11, 2011, will remember those lost and the heroes in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
"For the congregation of Asbury in Tulsa, we will be focusing on service," Springer said.
The church’s plan adapts its Second Saturday program. For more than two years, the program has provided a monthly, hands-on mission opportunity for families and individuals to help others in the Tulsa area.
Coordinated by a group at Asbury, teams of volunteers are sent out on the second Saturday morning of each month to churches, schools, and neighborhoods.
Teams consist of as few as four people, or as many as 50, and projects vary from month to month.
Earlier this year, the coordinators gained permission to move Second Saturday by one day in September. They will carry out a Second Sunday event, to commemorate 9/11.
Their goal for Second Sunday is to mobilize one-third of those in morning church to take part in an afternoon of service.
Dressed for work, people will attend worship, eat a light lunch, then head out to serve. They will mark the day by cleaning, painting, planting, sweeping, and hauling away unwanted materials.
Springer reported the majority of volunteers for Asbury’s Second Saturdays are younger. Families participate; parents want to teach their children the importance of service and giving of themselves.
Non-church members take part, too. Sometimes the ratio of members to non-members is almost equal, he said.
Asbury’s Second Saturdays began in February 2009. More than 5,315 hours of free community service have been provided at 63 sites in Tulsa.
Springer emphasized that a church of any size can host a Second Saturday program. A large church facility is not needed. Volunteers simply show up—Springer said there is no advance registration—and pick a project.
Transportation is provided to and from the work sites. Tools and materials are provided by the project recipient.
For more information: www.asbury2ndsaturday.org.