Four times a year the Alton Mission worship service becomes more service than worship (or perhaps worship through service). We cancel our normal Sunday morning activities and go out into the city to create, restore, encourage, pray, and generally love our neighbors. Here are the typical things we do:
Winter: On Martin Luther King Jr. weekend we partner with other organizations like Aces 4 Youth to serve our city and work for peace and reconciliation. The local chapter of the NAACP along with several of the historically black churches in town lead a commemoration service in Dr. King’s honor on Sunday afternoon.
Spring: Alton has citywide litter cleanups in the spring and the fall, so we join them in picking up trash, planting flowers, and improving the appearance of our city.
Summer: We take a Sunday to serve our city through prayer. We walk neighborhoods together as families and friends, praying as we go. We’ve sat together and prayed, “Lord, help us to see what you see.” We’ve gone out to take pictures in order to capture the soul of our city and express our gratitude and need to God.
Fall: The first Sunday of October is World Communion Sunday and a growing number of local churches partner together to serve the city. We meet for a brief communion service and then split up into work teams that go all around the area to complete projects and partner with local organizations. Then we gather that night to eat and celebrate.