The Norman Transcript

Religion

April 5, 2013

Churches to gather to give Norman love

NORMAN — On Saturday morning, five area churches will gather at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in hopes of giving Norman a little extra love.

In its fourth year, To Norman with Love will kick off at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

“All of the churches will gather there first before going out to their various site locations for the annual day of service,” said Dinah Bolton, community minister of First Baptist Church.

Churches that have signed up include First Baptist Church, McFarlin United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Providence Road Communities and Bethel Baptist Church. Also signed up for To Norman with Love is Southwestern Christian University.

The first year for To Norman with Love was in 2010. At the time, the event was for First Baptist Church members only. The event became citywide the next year, Bolton said.

“We have 31 projects lined up so far,” Bolton said.

Projects include assisting CCFI with its annual block party, converting a community garden to a seating area, delivering meals, landscaping, carpentry, organizing food pantries, litter pickup, painting, delivering food/cookies to fire stations, playing bingo at nursing homes and more.

“My hope for this unique event is seeing the community truly defined through the coming together of people from all walks of life working together to strengthen their environment and develop its full potential,” Bolton said. “I see the church’s role being to come alongside the community and be active participants, partnering with other local organizations and agencies to stand for things that matter and meet the needs of the people God adores.

“I hope that this day of service does not just become an annual thing — that this day would stir up compassion in the hearts of people to incorporate this into their daily lives.”

Bolton said if anyone wants to join To Norman With Love, they are encouraged to attend Saturday’s kick-off party at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, 419 S. University Blvd.

“They can come and even join another group that is able to have more people at their service location,” Bolton said.

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