The congregation was already active in community programs.
Congregation members of Grace Lutheran Church in Ormond Beach wanted to do something for the community as part of their celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. They had planted trees at the church, had activities that included movie days, and a visit from “Katie Luther,” but they wanted to do more.
“Our original goal was to see if our congregation could volunteer 500 hours outside the church this year,” Linda Koch said. “We quickly surpassed that, and thought, 'Let’s try 1, 000,' and we passed that, and now we are up to 1,588.”
The church already had a “cause of the month” and wanted to add the outreach program. The 500 hours seemed a lofty goal in the beginning.
“We didn’t know what the congregation members did,” Sue Underwood said. "Then they started coming in and adding their hours to the log book. We will be well over 1,800 before we are done.”
The volunteer goal began on Jan. 1 and officially ends Oct. 31, when the Reformation is celebrated. Koch sees the program continuing after the official celebration.
More than 27 volunteers have been helping out at more than 25 organizations.
Church member Tom Starling volunteers 10-15 hours a week with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department Citizen Patrol.
Another way members volunteer is through making quilts, which are donated worldwide, but also to local charities, including Family Renew and Habitat for Humanity. A red, pink and white quilt is ready for a breast cancer group.
“We sent 107 quilts to Peru last year,” Norma Weaver said. “The children’s blankets we make go to Habitat for Humanity.”
“I think this has opened all of our eyes as to what we are doing as a congregation, outside in our community,” Koch said.