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Spiritual Life

Local church performs community service during annual Compassion Weekend


Photo By: Town Crier FIle Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Volunteers from Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and its Open Door campuses will assist Bayshore Christian Ministries, above, on Compassion Weekend.

With the goal of making service simple, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and its Open Door Church campuses in Mountain View and San Mateo are scheduled to participate in the church’s eighth annual Compassion Weekend, undertaking 33 different service projects Saturday and Sunday.

Instead of attending worship services on the weekend, church members, including 270 from Los Altos, will assist with service projects throughout the Bay Area. Approximately 4,600 people are expected to volunteer.

The church’s Christmas offering, more than $510,000, funds Compassion Weekend, a project initiated to engage the church in acts of service.

“Our communities face significant obstacles and challenges, whether in education, health care, homelessness or even human trafficking,” said Mark Swarner, the church’s missions pastor. “We believe the church can and should make a difference in our community in visible ways.”

According to Swarner, one of the most significant reasons the church continues to sponsor Compassion Weekend is that participants have built relationships with people in the community, mission partners and agencies, and they look forward to visiting them again.

The projects represent the church’s key focus areas: education, poverty and human trafficking.

Many of the assignments are suitable for families with children. Child care is available 8:30 a.m. to noon for children 3 months to 4 years of age at both the Mountain View and Menlo Park churches by reservation.

The projects are stretch from San Francisco to San Jose and Fremont.

The church has added projects this year – the Project WeHOPE homeless shelter in East Palo Alto and Freedom House, a San Jose rehabilitation facility for human trafficking victims under the age of 18.

Bayshore Christian Ministries in East Palo Alto is among the organizations volunteers will assist. Menlo Park-based projects include two with the Ravenswood School District and a new project with the There With Care Program, which provides assistance and supplies to families whose children are critically ill.

The church invites local residents to participate in Compassion Weekend.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church has been located at 950 Santa Cruz Ave. for nearly 140 years and today has four campuses, including a location in Mountain View at 1667 Miramonte Ave.

To sign up or for more information, visit www.mppc.org/compassion.

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