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Capitol Hill Members Display Acts of Kindness on Sabbath

Story by Michelle Riley Jones
Published 8/22/12

Flowers and groceries brighten a senior’s day.--photo by Matthew Frazier
“How did you know it was my birthday?” asked one delighted senior when several members of the Capitol Hill church in Washington, D.C., showed up on his doorstep with flowers and groceries.
That reaction is exactly “why I grow my flowers—to brighten the lives of those in need!” said Dan Price, an area resident who hand-cut more than 1,000 flowers from his personal garden for the Allegheny East Conference church’s We Are Family Senior Grocery Delivery outreach.
The grocery and flower delivery was one of more than 15 service activities that Capitol Hill members participated in on a recent Sabbath. Instead of a regular Sabbath service, Gene M. Donaldson, DMin, the church’s senior pastor, set aside the day as “Acts of Kindness” Community Service Day. Donaldson said church members hoped to bring to life Luke 6:9, which says it is “lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

The day, which began as early as 7 a.m., involved more than 300 Capitol Hill members, including children, families and seniors. Under the leadership of Michele Gamble, the church’s community services leader, the church partnered with local community partners who identified areas of needs in the community. Members then signed up for one or more projects online. Some of the projects included writing messages of thanks to soldiers overseas, engaging in a neighborhood prayer walk, cleaning up a play area for homeless children, caring for trees, feeding the homeless, offering resume help, visiting a hospice and hosting a health fair.
At the end of the day, Capitol Hill members received words and notes of appreciation from the many people they helped, including from Rev. Herbert Brisbon of the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church. “This is wonderful what you are doing for the community!” he exclaimed. “We would like to partner with you for future efforts in our community!”

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