California Church Completes 15 Days of Service

 In All Church of God

By Carl Stagner

“We are so blessed to have a church help set up our new home.” “The entire church coming together is a testament to how much care and compassion your congregation has.” “We truly appreciate all of your efforts and hope to work with you again.” These are just a few of the expressions of thanks that have come in to the Church at Rancho Bernardo in San Diego, California, since their fifteen days of community service came to a close at the end of September. For fifteen days in a row, the southern California church volunteered, working to make their community a better place.

Nate Alcorn heads up the outreach activities at the Church at Rancho Bernardo. He explains that the 15 Days of Service was a natural extension of their ongoing outreach-oriented focus. And the community is taking notice. “This church has a history of being involved in the community. It’s actually a draw for why a lot of people have decided to come to the church.”

FCRB_Pastor_Harry_Police_Car_FORWEBor the Church at Rancho Bernardo, community service is anything but busy work. There’s tremendous purpose behind every whack of the hammer and stroke of a paint brush. “Most of the work we did was strategic in the sense that we have ongoing relationships with all our partners. We don’t just do the outreach and then never talk to them again.”

One of the beneficiaries of the San Diego church’s ongoing volunteerism is the local high school. The school has no PTA or other foundation to rely upon for support. So the church has come along to fill that void. “We’ve redone the landscaping, and painted and redecorated the school’s front offices, library, and conference center. We also dropped off food and clothing. We held a career day and brought our church members for mentoring and talking about career options.”CRB_San_Diego_TShirt_FORWEB

Nate explains that the church has partnered with an organization that addresses the needs of foster youth who have become too old for the system. These youth, who still need some support, are otherwise left high and dry. To make a difference in the lives of five of these young adults, the church conducted a drive to collect furniture and kitchen supplies. “We rented five U-hauls and packed them up, and then the kids came to church that day and participated in a send-off as we helped moved them into their first apartment.”

The Church at Rancho Bernardo is especially concerned about the people behind the service project. “We want to do more than just put a Band-Aid on things,” Nate explains, “We can be preventative in our outreach. We’re trying to prevent people from falling into drugs, trafficking, etc.”

From beautifying the local school to detailing police cars, 15 Days of Service provided outreach opportunities for everyone. From visiting local orphans to preparing “survival” kits for stressed-out teachers, 15 Days of Service touched souls. From the mundane task of sorting clothing at the Salvation Army to the interactive experience of serving meals to military families, the entire outreach focus of the Church at Rancho Bernardo has also made an impact on the volunteers themselves. “I think they understand that our faith should bear fruit. And we tell these stories throughout the year, celebrating together what God has accomplished through us.”

On the first Sunday in October, the Church at Rancho Bernardo again celebrated—only this time it was for the baptism of 42 students and adults.

Watch a video thank-you note that the local high school produced in response to the outreach efforts of the Church at Rancho Bernardo.

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