— Bert Colter

Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, assembled cleanup buckets as their worship/mission on Pentecost Sunday. The buckets will offer assistance to those in the United States recovering from disaster. Rev. Elizabeth McLean shares,

"60 minutes + 100 empty 5 gallon buckets + 165 people + 1000s of supplies = 100 filled clean up buckets for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, worshippers of all ages flocked to Preston Hollow’s Jubilee Hall for a different kind of worship service. They were greeted by a room ringed by tables with cleaning supplies and upended orange buckets serving as seats in the middle of the room. Worship began with song and prayer and scripture and that’s where it really stopped feeling like your typical Presbyterian sanctuary service. Instead of a homily, small groups formed around the room to discussed John 20:21-22:

"Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit."

"Worshippers then responded to the word by forming small teams, grabbing a bucket and filling them with supplies as indicated by PDA’s website. It was loud, chaotic and joyful as children as young as two and adults needing scooters figured out the best way to navigate the crowds and complete their buckets. Just prior to sealing each bucket, folks wrote notes of love and encouragement to those who would eventually receive them.

"When asked where the idea came from, Rev. Elizabeth McLean answered, “In one Community Outreach Council meeting, we were trying to find ways to include more people in service. Since Saturdays are so crazy for many people, we thought about Sundays. Then I remembered that the word in Hebrew for worship also means service.” Thus, a new idea for worshipping and serving simultaneously was born. Ruling Elder Anné Hughes commented that, "we are ready to plan more worship-service events. Next time, we hope to take a bus caravan to a local site." Maybe the highest compliment paid all morning came from Phillip Rigler, age seven, "That was the best church EVER!"

Thank you, Preston Hollow, for the positive impact your gifts will make for survivors in the United States.

Story by Rev. Elizabeth Boone McLean, Associate Pastor, Mission & Evangelism


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