Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Out in the community

by Lisa Seiser

February 02, 2012

Kids from Anchor Covenant Church visited with residents at Havenwood Senior Center as part of the "Love in Action" activity.
There was an excitement in the air of something new as about 40 Anchor Covenant Church members gathered at the First Congregational Church chapel Sunday afternoon.

They were eagerly waiting several hours before the typical weekly service, but it was all for a good cause.

Love in Action is a church project where members go out into the community to make a difference. Sunday was their first endeavor.

"This is worship for us," Anchor Pastor Bruce Bruns said to his congregation. "This is not instead of church, this is in addition to church."

After a brief explanation, the members headed out to paint at Woods School, hold a tea party at Havenwood Senior center, collect food for the local food pantries and had a community prayer service.

Church members will participate in Love in Action at least four times per year, when there is a fifth Sunday of the month. Bruns said he would like to create a committee that will focus on performing projects out in the community on more days than just the four Sundays.

A few minutes after Bruns spoke to the group, they headed in all different directions. They all had about two hours before being asked to return to the church for a brief service and dinner.

"This is going to be really cool," Bruns said as they separated.

Among those helping out at Woods for a few hours were Lake Geneva's Pete and Pat Heintzelman.

"This is the first place Anchor worshipped at," Pete said. "We wanted to give back because of that."

Bruns and the Heintzelmans said the most important aspect of Love in Action is giving back to the community.

"We want to be part of the community," Pete said.

The pair volunteered for the painting duty.

"We used to met in this room," Pat said as she brushed paint while in the school's gym. "We figured out what they needed help with. You think about the man hours this would take for the school and that this group is taking on."

"Our kids went through the Lake Geneva schools and it is just nice to be able to help out a bit," Pete said as he dipped his paint brush again.

Delavan's Kyle Hundt has been a member of the church for a couple years and said the project was his idea.

As he painted a locker in one of the rooms at Woods School, Hundt said he was involved in a similar project at another church and thought it would be a good idea to bring it to his new church.

"Giving back is very important," Hundt said as he rolled the paint on the front of the large locker. "It is what we are supposed to do. Time, money and effort is God's anyway, so we might as well give it back."

At Havenwood minutes later, a group of adults, teens and children brought smiles and laughter to many residents in the front room of the facility. They sang songs, told a story and played a brief game involving balloons. They finished by serving sandwiches, drinks and cookies to those in attendance.

On Monday, Bruns said he was pleased with how things went, calling it a "really good day."

He said he heard from Woods School officials who were pleased with his group's efforts.

A total of 50 to 60 people of all ages participated in the Anchor Covenant Church Love in Action. He already has goals for the project — to glorify God, serve his people and preach the gospel without using words.

The plans are to expand the project and make it year-round, not just four times a year as they have planned now. The members also intend to continue the relationship with Woods School, because there are congregation members involved in the school.

"We want to nurture that connection," Bruns said.

The congregation also has a member who resides at Havenwood, so the members plan to continue helping out and visiting over there.

"It was a good day for the congregation to help people and serve up something special," Bruns said. We want to make a difference in the community."

He hopes the helping will become part of the individual congregation member's lives.

"I want this to become who they are and how they live, not just a project through the church," Bruns said.