Servefest 2008 · 3 August 2008
I am not sure where Servefest started, but if you search for it on the web, you will find more than just what is happening in Monroe and Sultan. There are lots of people and organizations around the country and the world who understand the greatest commandments and want to shine their light before men.
In the Skykomish valley, Servefest 2008 will take place on August 10, 2008. That means that several Christian churches in the Monroe and Sultan area will not be having regular services for their congregations. Instead, those congregations will be doing what Jesus said to do. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) This is the second year of Servefest in the Skykomish valley communities and it is a growing movement to show Christ’s love to all.
The event has grown to about a dozen partnering Christian churches and organizations and several sponsoring entities as well. If you visit the official Servefest website at http://www.servefest.org/ you will see lists of both. You will also see the theme of Servefest 2008: Connecting the dots – people, Christ, community.
The partner organizations are sending their people to serve others, mainly as laborers for diverse projects throughout the community. Among those benefiting from the labor of love are Housing Hope (http://www.housinghope.org/) and Take the Next Step (http://www.thenextstepmonroe.org/), two local organizations that help people to find affordable housing and provide other services to those in need.
Local schools, and the cities of Monroe and Sultan are also benefiting from Servefest labor. But what does it all really mean? Why would churches send their congregations out to pick up litter and paint the Evergreen State Fairgrounds or do other projects around the cities where they meet? Why would the organizations sponsor such an outlandish project? What benefit would any of the sponsoring churches or organizations get from such a project?
The simple answer to all of these questions is really obedience. After all, the sponsoring organizations will get very little publicity from the website, because it is mainly a site where the members of the participating churches and organizations can sign up. The only real benefit that any of them get is the satisfaction that they followed the Lord’s direction. They are showing that they understand the greatest commandments, to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strengths, and to love their neighbors as themselves (Mark 12:30-31). And they are showing that they can carry out those commandments in a practical way.
I suppose that there is one other benefit to Servefest. There is a celebration afterward. People who served during the day will be entertained and fed in the evening at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. No charge. People are being asked to help fill up the Monroe and Sultan food banks, but all they really need to do is sign up to serve and after they are finished, they can be served. I am not sure if the pastors will man the dunk tank like they did last year, but there are sure to be laughs with a comedian and other entertainment. One of the best things, of course, will be people enjoying each others’ tales from the day.
If you looking to visit a church in the Skykomish valley communities on August 10, 2008, the churches will not be empty, but you might get put to work. If you are traveling in the area, you are sure to see bunches of people with orangish T-shirts working in the community. If they have smiles on their faces and want to talk about Jesus, they are probably from one of the dozen Christian churches and organizations partnering to make Servefest 2008 a reality. They have left their church buildings in order to shine the light of Jesus on their community. Like the official website says Servefest is “connecting the dots” between people, Christ, and the community. Personally, I hope that Servefest 2008 connects lots of dots.
© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi
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