While we use the parking lots to park cars on Sundays, the parking lots allow us to do some of our most important ministries year round and at Christmas time. A parking lot? Important ministry? Really?
Yep. Every Monday, in parking lot 2, Forgotten Harvest brings a semi-truck full of food. Dozens of volunteers organize it, and we hand it out to our neighbors who need the food. We have been doing this every week for three years and have blessed our community by giving away more than 1.5 million pounds of food! Right now, we are helping over 225 families each week. If you want to invite people to get free food, stop by our Connection Center to pick up some cards to hand out.
We give away more than food from our parking lots. We also partner with Samaritan’s Purse to be a shipping center for Operation Christmas Child boxes. Have you ever filled one? Last year we had nearly 11,000 boxes collected by Ward Church, our community and other local churches, and they were all packed in a semi-truck in our parking lot. Without our parking lots we wouldn’t be able to help Samaritan’s Purse or Forgotten Harvest.
On top of these two great ministries, our parking lots are also a gateway to some cool places to visit on campus like our fire pit, walking trails and ball fields. These areas provide great outdoor recreation for our church as well as for our neighbors. The parking lots are often used as training centers for our local first responders as well so don’t be surprised if you see the police or firefighters doing a drill in the parking lot!
To make the parking lots more user friendly, the church numbered our doors to align with the parking lot numbers. So, if you park in parking lot 2 you are closest to Entry 2 and if you park in lot 6 you are closest to Entry 6. Isn’t that handy?