Bay church cleans up community, inspires volunteerism

BAY, AR (KAIT)- Members of Bay United Methodist Church left church with a mission—to clean up their community. The church had their first community service project Sunday where they cleaned and painted the community center and park equipment.

The project is called "Arms Around Bay" and the pastor of the church said it's the first of many.

"This is a way of us saying thank you to our community," said Pastor Donald Lewert of Bay United Methodist Church.

So they painted, scraped and cleaned the Bay Community Center.

"We've gotten out of our church and out in the community to try to serve the community as Jesus would have us do," Lewert said. "We live here too and we want to be an example."

He said they believe in "doing" instead of "saying."

"We believe we can do a lot more witnessing by doing things rather than preaching bible verses to them," Lewert said.

And this project is just the beginning.

"We have a sign at the edge of our parking lot that says the mission field starts here and that's what we believe," he said. "We hope others will be inspired by what we're doing."

Lewert said this community project has changed his outlook on service.

"Instead of worrying about our numbers and how many we're bringing in, we're not more concerned with being a presence, an active presence of love in our community," he said.

The church started an after school program at the community center and a community garden across the street.

"Being able to actually take the words of the gospel and put it into action, that's what the church needs to be," Lewert told Region 8 News.

Bay United Methodist Church also has a coupon class that's opened to the community.

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