Church: Advent UMC
District: River Valley
Submitted by: Jennifer Chick
Members of Advent United Methodist Church in Eagan wanted to celebrate the church’s 30-year anniversary by sharing God’s love with the community.
They chose to do that with one great day of sharing, an event they called “Advent Cares.”
On Aug. 24, more than 50 people gathered at Advent to demonstrate that the church values and cares about its surrounding community.
After a prayerful send-off by Rev. Rory Swenson at 9 a.m., members fanned out across Eagan to help with a variety of projects: leading a worship service at Clare Bridge, a senior care community; packing meals at Feed My Starving Children; funding and painting a shed for Eagan Resource Center; and putting cat food, dog food, and laundry detergent into individual packages for local food shelves.
That morning, Advent UMC also brought in a shredding company, Veteran Shredding, to provide free shredding of confidential documents in the church parking lot. The service was open to anyone in the community, and a steady stream of residents stopped by to take advantage of it.
Rev. Cindy Yanchury, minister of faith formation at Advent, said the local food shelf was thrilled to accept the pet food and laundry detergent items that she and the younger participants packaged during Advent Cares. Those items are requested frequently.
Additionally, participants described the worship service at Clare Bridge as a moving and touching experience for all involved. And the crew at Feed My Starving Children helped package enough food to feed 65 people for a year. The 23,770 meals packaged that morning were shipped to hungry people in Nicaragua.
After meeting back at Advent for lunch, groups split up to pick up litter on un-adopted streets around Eagan in the afternoon.
By the end of the day, Eagan was sparkling and the love of God had been shared across the city.
It was a day that will be remembered for years to come, and Advent members have proudly worn their “Advent Cares” turquoise T-shirts at many church events since.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church