Monroe and SAGE Build A Church Volunteers Honored for 100th Project

September 01, 2003 | Carrol Grady

Monroe church members and friends celebrated their first church service in the shell of their new church on Sabbath, July 19. Dark green cedars pointed skyward beyond the framed walls, and puffy clouds drifted across a blue sky above the curving trusses of the sanctuary roof as the song "The Church Has One Foundation" ascended.

Tribute was paid to SAGE (Seniors in Action for God with Excellence) Washington and Upper Columbia members who, with local church members, contributed 2,400 hours of labor (equivalent to $55,000 of paid labor) over three weeks to raise the walls and place about two-thirds of the roof.

Special thanks were offered to project director and SAGE Upper Columbia vice presidents Larry and Jacquie Goodhew, who headed up food preparation for the workers. This project marked their 100th volunteer project in the past 30 years.

Larry, who previously taught school in the Washington Conference, has headed up building projects in 17 foreign countries as well as in the U.S. When asked why he does so much volunteer work when he could have become rich as a contractor, his answer was, “We are rich! Rich in friends, rich in experiences, rich in God’s blessings.”

The Monroe church presented Goodhews with a gold hammer and a gold cooking whisk mounted in a shadow box as a memento of their volunteer career and their work for Monroe’s new church. Other SAGE members received CDs by Simple Gifts, a folk music group in the Monroe Church.

Special music for the service was provided by Simple Gifts and a men’s chorus, and members of the Vacation Bible School sang songs they had learned during VBS.

Mike Maldonado, pastor, donned a hard hat and tool belt to give his message, “A House Fit for a King,” which challenged members to live lives of fidelity to our heavenly King.