Thu10302014

Spiritual Life

MPPC invites community to join its 9th annual Compassion Weekend

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and its Open Door Church campuses invite the public to join in serving on 33 projects Saturday and Sunday, the church’s ninth annual Compassion Weekend.

Congregants participate in service projects throughout the Bay Area instead of attending regular worship services on Compassion Weekend. Last year, 4,000 volunteers worked three- to four-hour shifts on construction, medical, educational, beautification and humanitarian-related projects. Opportunities are available for 4,500 volunteers this year.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church’s Christmas offering, $400,000, funds the supplies and materials.

The church introduced Compassion Weekend in an effort to make service simple and to better understand and engage with the local community. The 33 projects, many suitable for families with children, support key areas such as education, poverty and human trafficking.

This year’s projects focus on hunger and poverty.

“You can’t always see it, but right beneath the surface there are great needs in our local community,” said Mark Swarner, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church mission pastor. “Approximately 10 percent of the population in Santa Clara County lives below the poverty line. An estimated one in four individuals is at risk for hunger, which is higher than the national average.”

One new project in Mountain View this year is a partnership with Castro Elementary School at the school’s annual literacy fair, the Castro Book Fiesta. Other projects include the assembly of 500 backpacks for children at Castro; the construction of playhouses to donate to schools, children’s homes, care facilities and military families through Habitat for Humanity; and the assembly of prenatal kits for needy pregnant women with Helping Hands for RealOptions. Open Door Church in Mountain View is slated to host the three projects.

For a list of Compassion Weekend projects and to register, visit cw2014.org/register/#/projects.

For more information, call 323-8600 or visit mppc.org.

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