Serve Day is a mission-mobilization event, currently held twice a year at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, FL. Over 500 individuals gathered on April 13, 2013 from the downtown congregation and community to pray and scatter to projects throughout the city.
Having hosted five Serve Day experiences over a three-year period, each in the Spring or Fall, First Presbyterian has seen 2,236 individuals serve through this particular event.
“Though some individuals have served multiple times, we have seen Serve Day as a particularly good mechanism for those who have never served before in “testing the waters.’ ” says Dr. Case Thorp, Pastor of Mission & Evangelism. “It is our hope that the single-day commitment helps to catalyze our church family to see how accessible mission can be in their day-to-day lives.”
Over 20 teams serve for a half-day, many on projects designed to accommodate families or small groups serving together. Projects range from sorting food for the local food bank, to assisting with patient check-in at a healthcare facility for the uninsured, to cleaning up landscaping at a local elementary school.
First Pres Pastor of Mission & Evangelism, Dr. Case Thorp, says the event continues to teach their staff and leadership about their ministry context.
“As it has grown, Serve Day is a great opportunity for inviting neighbors and friends into relationship with the church community. Since many people agree that volunteering in the community can make a positive impact, having a service-driven event can be a great front door for members to invite friends to a safe environment, with relatively low commitment.”