Cape Christian brings church to community
It’s very unusual for a church to decide not to hold services on Sunday, but that’s what Cape Christian did this past weekend.
Instead, it brought the church to the community.
Cape Christian held its second-annual ServeDay, where teams of church members go out into the community to do service projects.
Whether it be to clean up schools, give a nice freshening up to the military museum, work with Habitat for Humanity or feed area first responders, hundreds of church members performed dozens of projects to bring the church to the people.
Pastor Cory Demmel said the idea is to take a weekend every year to perform good deeds for the city.
“We aren’t just consumers, we’re contributors, so the theme this weekend is that we’re not going to church, we’re going to be the church,” Demmel said. “We have 70 service projects throughout Lee County and bringing free volunteer labor to organizations to make the city a better place and serve someone other than ourselves.”
After a rally at the church Friday night for about 700 people, the church members ventured out into the community on Saturday and Sunday. At the Southwest Florida Military Museum downtown, church members were staining and varnishing the benches as well as doing general landscaping.
Buddy Kubesh, team leader, said they were just out to spread the love.
“Anything that has to do with the military and veterans has a special place in my heart. I was never able to serve, but I always want to do what I can to help and support them,” Kubesh said.
Cecilia and David Wesselman said they joined the church last summer and said this is a great way to get involved in the community.
“It’s a great way to get all these people who would otherwise be in church into the community and doing something worthwhile,” Cecilia said.
Meanwhile, at the church at 2110 Chiquita Blvd., a team of church members were getting out the grill and serving the lunch for firefighters.
It wasn’t just hamburgers and hot dogs, either. Only steak would do on this day, along with dessert.
Those who came to help said they wanted to show the department how much the emergency personnel mean to the community.
“They want to reach as many people in as many situations as they can. They’re painting as schools, doing things at the wildlife center, cooking for the police also,” Randy Hohbein said. “If they’re willing to fight fires for us, we should fed them dinner once in a while.”
“It’s about gratitude and serving the community. This church does a lot of things that are outside the box and we spend our Sunday here in worship,” said David Menist. “Not a lot of that reaches the world, so we do this once a year. The firefighters are heroes and we’re showing out gratitude to them.”
The firefighters streamed in and got their food in shifts. Lt. Dean Kazor said he was told by the battalion chief about what the church was doing.
“We’re super excited to be here. It’s always nice when the public supports public services. We try to help them as much as we can and it’s nice when people give back,” Kazor said. “It’s not expected. Fire-fighting is our job. But it is wonderful when you’re appreciated.”