Tag Archives: change the world

There will be no elephants at our Elephant Wash #ChangeTheWorld

On May 19, 2012, we’re having an Elephant Wash.  There won’t be any elephants (I asked the people at the zoo, and they said ‘”no”).  Instead, the elephant wash will be full of kids and youth reaching out to their community.  I’m hoping that there will be lots of cars and lots of generous people willing to buy lemonade.  The Elephant Wash is Riverside United Methodist Church’s entry into Change the World Saturday.

A few months ago the kids at Riverside United Methodist Church picked a community outreach project.  They decided that they wanted to help the local zoo build a new habitat for their elephants.  The kids of our church love the Niabi Zoo, and they really got excited about helping with the zoo’s efforts to raise $4 million for a new elephant habitat.  We are going to have a car wash and encourage people to make a donation.  Before the car wash, someone from the zoo is going to come and do an educational session with the kids and volunteers.  The zoo is also going to donate a painting for the silent auction.  The artist will be one of the elephant residents of the zoo.  Is an elephant wash going to change the world?

It depends on what you mean by that.  At the very least, it will help the zoo take care of two of God’s amazing creatures.  And it could do a lot more.  It could help our kids learn how it feels to serve others.  It could teach them to be disciples of Jesus by spending their time in fellowship and service.  It could start a conversation with someone that didn’t know anything about Riverside Church.   It could transform the heart of someone that thinks that churches aren’t interested in the community.

If you click here to search for a Change the World event, you can enter 61265 into the zip code, and see ours.  Or you can put in your own zip code and see an event near you.  You can register and volunteer right now, and your name and email will be sent to the organizers of the event.  It is easy to argue that one event at one church couldn’t make much of an impact.  What about 1500 events involving over 20,000 people?  As of right now, that is how many people and churches are getting behind this movement.  20,000 people are rethinking what it means to be church.  And that can indeed change the world.

Change the World weekend is a project of United Methodist Church across the connection coming together for two days of community action.  Many of the projects support Imagine No Malaria, an initiative to eradicate malaria deaths through education, treatment, net distribution, and training; but Change the World is not about a single cause.

Change the World is about churches coming together for a day to get out of the church.  It is about rethinking what it means to “do church.”  It is about helping people to think about church as a verb instead of a noun.  Church can be something we do, not just somewhere we go.

Follow the Fat Pastor on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Can a car wash change the world?

Can a car wash change the world?

Can the hungry be fed?

Can  the sick find healing?

Can a sinner be redeemed?

Can swords be beaten into plows?

Can a heart be transformed?

Can the dead live again?

Can a car wash change the world?

I suppose it is all a matter of perspective.  If we offer a free car wash at church on Saturday, will the world be a different place?  If someone’s day is brightened by a free act of love, will their perspective be changed?  If someone receives a flyer about World Malaria Day can awareness be achieved?

On Saturday, April 24 from noon until 3 p.m. volunteers will gather at Chenoa United Methodist Church to wash cars.  We will not accept money.  We will also extend an invitation.  It is an invitation to be in relationship  for a few moments.  It is an invitation to be a loving community.  It is an invitation to pray, worship, and learn about a movement that can change the world.

Just two generations ago Malaria was a serious health concern in the United States.  A comprehensive public health effort from 1947-1951 virtually eradicated malaria in this country.

Sixty years later Malaria continues to kill one million people a year.  None of those deaths occurred in the United States, Canada or Europe.  90% of those deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.  Most of these are children.

A lot of religious folk want to talk about sin.  They like to make their list of sins, often that others commit.  They may pay lip service to the fact that we are all “sinners,” but then act as if it is all ‘those people’ that sin.  If you want to start talking about sin, let’s start with the fact that while we sit and spend an hour in worship, or reading the Bible, or watching TV, or eating dinner – every hour of the day – 120 children in Africa die of a disease that is preventable and curable.

The people of the United Methodist Church have said, “No more.”  Imagine No Malaria is a bold initiative to raise $75 million (that’s less than $7 per member of the United Methodist Church) to eradicate malaria in Africa by the year 2015.  Through education, medicine, prevention, this is an achievable goal.  According to Imagine No Malaria’s website, increased net coverage and access to medicine has cut the mortality rates in Rwanda 66% in two years.

So, can a car wash change the world?  Could one relationship be built that could lead someone to pray?  Could one person with a flyer in their hand make a donation that they would not have otherwise made?

$20 can buy a mosquito net for a family.   That net could save the lives of parents and children.  It can allow a parent to work and make a living.  It can help a child go to school.  It can help a family live in health.

“To the world, you might be one person; but to one person, you might be the world” (Heather Cortez).


Filed under Christianity