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Charlotte’s Covenant Presbyterian Church sets day of service

By Marty Minchin

Covenant Presbyterian Church will send hundreds of people into the city of Charlotte on Oct. 27 to do everything from bake bread for Friendship Trays to beautifying the campus of a bilingual preschool.

Covenant Impacts Charlotte 2013 is the fifth annual day of service the church has hosted. Attendance has ranged from 350 to 750 and includes church members and other community members.

“What we hope is that it draws a closer connection between the people associated with Covenant and various nonprofits around town,” said the Rev. Bob Henderson, Covenant Presbyterian senior pastor.

“It builds a relational bridge as well as a familiarity bridge.”

CIC 2013 will involve 46 projects. Instead of its regular schedule of multiple Sunday services, the church will hold one service Oct. 27, then invite people to join CIC in the afternoon.

The projects involve a range of issues and agencies, and they are designed to offer something that will suit any age or demographic. Young children can assemble toiletry kits for people who are homeless; another group will stay at the church and clean the sanctuary.

One volunteer team will baby-sit while parents help with a project. Another will host a Halloween party for families living at Charlotte Family Housing.

Carla Leaf, Covenant Presbyterian director of outreach and ministry, said the stories that people return with are wonderful.

Often, a one-day volunteer stint leads to deeper involvement with a nonprofit organization or to friendships with new people.

At CIC 2012, a church member sat down on a bench at Moore Place, which provides permanent housing and supportive services for adults who are chronically homeless. She then struck up a conversation with a Moore Place resident, who wondered if the church sent buses to pick people up for Sunday worship.

Discussions followed, and the church member and Moore Place resident became friends. The Moore Place resident now is a member of Covenant Presbyterian, and the other member regularly gives her rides to church.

The day of service is paired with the church’s Stewardship Sunday, in which church members make their annual financial pledges. The church gives money to community organizations, and CIC helps people see where it goes, Leaf said.

CIC 2013 will begin with a church service 10:30 a.m. Oct. 27 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 100 E. Morehead St.

Volunteer teams will pick up lunch at 11:30 a.m., then head to project sites.

The teams will return to the church fellowship hall at 3:30 p.m. for ice cream and a celebration.

Anyone inis welcome to participate in CIC 2013. Registration is available at http://covenantpresby.org or by calling the church at 704-333-9071.

Volunteers also can sign up at the event.

Marty Minchin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email her at martymetzl@gmail.com.
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