Good Shepherd's Annual 30 Mile Mission is a service-oriented event that focuses our time, talents and treasures into our local community for one weekend a year. We serve throughout the year, but on this weekend, we set aside and become intensely focused on making change and making a difference within a thirty-mile radius of Good Shepherd. It's too easy to become inward focused. This event is an annual reminder that we should always be humbling ourselves, putting others first and loving the unloved.
Our youth (middle and high school aged kids) take over the entire church building starting on a Thursday night and stay thru Sunday afternoon. During this time, they join in evening devotions, work together on meal prep and service prep for the next day. Friday is when the service begins. The youth are broken up into service groups and are sent into the community. The congregation is invited to join in, and many do, especially when our group takes over at the Oregon Food Bank! On Sunday morning, in lieu of services, our entire congregation is sent out into the community to serve in different ways at pre-arranged sites that they have signed up for in the weeks prior. There have been projects ranging from bridge quilts (for homeless members of our community) to hygiene kits, yard work, serving breakfast at a homeless shelter or even working on some basic home repairs or painting at our neighbor's homes. We ask our congregation members to prayerfully consider ways that we (and they) can serve others in our proximity and in response, they turn in service site suggestion cards.
Typically there are about a dozen different service sites on Sunday morning that provide opportunities for ALL ages and ALL ability levels. One of the best things about 30 Mile Mission is the intergenerational aspect. We have five year olds packing hygiene kits with senior citizens. High schoolers learn to sew with the Sew-in-Love quilting group. Young families get to interact with empty-nesters and make new connections.
When the service sites wrap up, we meet up around noon for a time of sharing and worship. Participants are encouraged to share ways they saw God working that day and experiences they had. We give God thanks and praise for the opportunity to provide 500+ hours of service to our community. We wrap up our day together with a celebratory pot luck lunch where we continue to share experiences and grow as a family!
Thanks be to God!
Prepping food for Meals on Wheels in Portland
Serving food at the Union Gospel Mission Day Room
A time of sharing and worship after our service!