Removing blackberries, disposing of garbage, weeding gardens, and scrubbing headstones were among the duties performed by congregates of the Burnett Fellowship during a recent Serve the City day.
For the second year in a row, about two-thirds of the church's 120-member congregation reached out to help the community and the response from unsuspecting recipients was heartwarming, said assistant administrator Amber-Lee Zielke.
The team weeded gardens and planted flowers at the Baptist towers, removed bramble and garbage at McKenney Creek, collected garbage at Laity View Elementary and Westview Secondary, and cleaned up the grounds and specifically scrubbed the headstones at the Maple Ridge Cemetery.
The latter efforts moved one visitor at the graveyard. Olga Johnson was especially impressed with the showing of youth.
"The Burnett Baptist youth group was out in full force, cleaning the head-stones of local people who had passed on. So there is hope for our youth, and Maple Ridge should know it," Johnson said.
"It's rewarding to see that you're helping your community and it's something that we're commanded to do as Christians, to serve and to love others," Zielke said.
"This is the second time we did it," she added, noting the idea was proposed by church staff last year and was quickly adopted by parishioners as a great way to reach out to the community.
In year one, 15 church members went downtown Vancouver. But this year's efforts, held May 26, were focused entirely on Maple Ridge and they all met back at the 123-Avenue church after for a barbecue.
"We'll do this again," Zielke added, noting that the church worked closely with District of Maple Ridge staff to determine what blackberry bushes and trees were unwanted and needed removing, and which area of the cemetery needed attention.
@ Copyright 2013