Meridian Church Prioritizes Acts of Kindness

December 13, 2017 | Sandra Blackmer

Community service has long been a priority of the Meridian (Idaho) Church, but to encourage members to initiate more projects, church pastor Michael Pearson said, “Let’s do acts of kindness.”

When Pearson offered to allocate $100 from a special church evangelistic fund for each act of kindness project undertaken, ideas began circulating.

Some members organized a Diabetes Undone clinic hosted at the church in September.

“Statistics regarding diabetes are alarming,” says member Beverly Logan, who helped to plan the event. “One in three Americans has diabetes or is prediabetic. Our clinic really made a difference in people’s lives.”

Meridian members Jerry and Pauline Rowan chose to reach out closer to home. They baked homemade loaves of bread and gave them to neighbors.

“I knocked on each door and said, ‘We’re your neighbors, and we just wanted to get to know you.’ After that, people began stopping to talk if we were out in the yard," Jerry Rowan reports.

“It’s a step-by-step process,” he added. “The next step is to invite neighbors to study the Bible with us.”

Member Alex Rusu began repairing broken appliances such as stoves and washing machines and giving them to people in need. Aaron Martin started a similar ministry only with cars. He asks people to donate old cars to the church, repairs them and gives them to community residents in need of transportation.

Members Beverly Logan, Pat Britzius and Carolyn Curtis organized a God’s Closet — a “shopping” event held four times a year for those in need of children’s clothing. Church members as well as people and organizations in the community donate children’s clothes, which volunteers then gather and sort.

“People came from all over the Treasure Valley and were so appreciative of what we were doing,” Curtis says. “We were filling a real need.”

Meridian members also recently conducted a nine-week Depression Recovery Seminar, which about 70 people attended nightly. It was followed by a cooking school.

“The Meridian Adventist Church is becoming known in the community as a caring church,” Pearson says. “At a recent meeting with the Meridian mayor, her minders and local faith leaders, I overheard one of the mayor’s staff members say to another, ‘Every time we turn around the Adventists are doing something new to help our community.’ It was good to hear.”

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