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Calvary Presbyterian puts its faith into action

Bette Nicholson, Cate Underbrink and Eunice Wallace spent the day writing letters to 90 soldiers who are serving overseas.  - Photo by Dennis Box
Bette Nicholson, Cate Underbrink and Eunice Wallace spent the day writing letters to 90 soldiers who are serving overseas.
— image credit: Photo by Dennis Box

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Enumclaw’s Calvary Presbyterian Church members were out in force putting their “Faith in Action.”

The Rev. Fred Davis said congregation members have always been active in the community and lend a hand frequently, but taking a Sunday and putting everyone on the streets “acting out their faith” was a big move.

“We’ve always had people involved,” Davis said. “But we felt this was a statement that we as a church body care for the community. We believe in this town.”

There was a way for everyone, of all ages, to be involved.

Several members trekked their way to a homeless encampment near the Green River Gorge and set up a soup kitchen.

Others were busy washing businesses’ windows, raking leaves, pressure-washing sidewalks and alleys and sprucing up along Cole Street.

Another group was cleaning landscaped areas at the senior center and the Enumclaw-Black Diamond Tutoring Center.

One family went out on their own and picked up garbage in several city parks.

Families with young children pulled wagons through neighborhoods collecting food for Plateau area food banks.

A handful of members wrote, in beautiful penmanship, letters to 90 soldiers.

Others sorted and packed bulk food for Plateau Outreach Ministries’ food bank, while others spent the day praying for the community, schools and other areas of daily life.

Another group identified old photographs from the Enumclaw Public Library’s historical collection.

“It was a nostalgia trip for some of them as well as a real service to Bob Baer and the library,” Davis said.

As an extension, Thursday night a group served dinner to members of YoungLives, a group for teenage mothers.

Davis said he didn’t originate the idea of Faith in Action, but it certainly fit the congregation’s Church without Walls theme this year.

And he admitted at first some considered it a radical move to cancel church, both Saturday and Sunday services, and raking leaves bucked some church members notion about working on the ‘day of rest’, “but the closer we got to it the more excited people became,” Davis said.

In fact, the event drew 225 members and a date has been set – April 26 – to do it again.

They’re even considering Faith in Action days quarterly or three times a year, Davis said.

“We really believe in this community and want to serve,” Davis said.

There has been interest from other churches in the community and Calvary Presbyterian Church invites them to mobilize, either with them or on their own.

He said it would be nice to see, once a month, that a church was a visible force in the community.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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