If you’ve attended any actionchurch Sunday morning services in the last four weeks, you KNOW that Relay for Life (June 17th-18th) is sort of a big deal to us. It’s not just hyperbole when we say that we would like EVERY single person that attends a/c to be a part of the event. Kenna and Gretchen have given so many great reasons and personal stories of why Relay is a great thing to be part of, so I thought I’d share mine.
In June 2007, I participated in my very first Relay, along with my wife and daughter and the Brinks family. To put it kindly, I wasn’t that excited about “camping out on a football field and walking around a track all night”. Even though our family had recently lost someone to cancer, I was there to promote actionchurch. We planned on launching the following spring, so I thought that Relay for Life would be a nice “service project” to do good in the community…and hopefully let people know that there was an “awesome new church” (at that time we had no people, no equipment, and no meeting place :-)) coming to York county. The thing that I looked forward to most was something called the “team lap”, where teams walk around the track in front of the spectators with banners promoting their team. I couldn’t wait to tell York about actionchurch. Besides, we were the only church at Relay at that time…it seemed like a marketing home run. Do some good…get good publicity.
Approximately two hours into my first Relay, I knew I was there for the wrong reasons. I knew the “point” of the event was not promoting actionchurch…but serving the wonderful cancer survivors, participants, and staff that make relay great. By the time the “Team lap” came around, we decided not to even participate. We left our banner in our tent. Team actionchurch didn’t “take a lap”.
Since then, Relay for Life has been an important part of the actionchurch calender. I can think of NO better way to live out “Loving God, Loving People, and Taking action, than to serve the folks at Relay as a church. It’s important. We put lots of resources, effort, and hours into it each year. It’s worth it. Most of all though, I know that serving others at an event like Relay changes you…even a self-centered jerk like me. I hope you not miss this opportunity to be part of it.
You will not regret it. You will not be the same afterward.