Marcus C. Lambright
Garden State Service Project
The week of July 12-16 we welcomed our friends and partners in ministry from Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ. Normally a group of youth and adults from their church travel in the summer to parts of Appalachia for the Appalachia Service Project. This year they sought to stay closer to home and in conversation with the youth leader--Mark Edwards--and all-around handyman--Ron Zink--we put together a plan for a Garden State Service Project. With the help of experienced builders, volunteers, architects, and organizers, First Presbyterian Church of Trenton hosted 27 youth and adults.
The group was able to not only build up the church but also to build some significant relationships.
Part of the plan was to have a local speaker each day tell of their experience living, working, and vision casting in Trenton. We met and heard from leaders including Rev. Rupert Hall from Turning Point United Methodist Church, Latarsha Burke of the Trenton African American Cultural Collaborative, Charles Koonce of Daylight/Twilight, and others. The group went on a great walking tour of Trenton led by elder Ida Beth Malloy. So many people commented on the work done on our property. Some people were disappointed but the overwhelming consensus was support for the way we were helping beautify the neighborhood. It's part of our responsibility to help keep things in order.
We also had an amazing barbecue catered by 1911 Smoke House. We wanted to help support local business. Reggie filled us up and made our week.
The week was filled with laughs, grunts, and cheers from hard work. This week was a reminder of how Christian fellowship comes in many forms. Worship, business, play, and work all bring us together to uplift the gifts God has given us, the compassion Christ has deepened within us, and the joy the Holy Spirit has shared among us. It was a blessing to serve alongside our friends and we look forward to the next time we join together.