BY TOM MAY
Do for others what you would have them do for you.
Hundreds of people at Eastside Christian Church are going to have a chance to do just that Saturday. The church is hosting a Health and Wellness Clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church, 2319 Veterans Parkway in Jeffersonville. The clinic will offer a variety of services and goods for people who otherwise would rarely be able to afford them.
Local doctors, dentists and optometrists will be donating their time and several services during those hours. Clothing for children through adults have been gathered from hundreds of people, sorted and displayed for the event.
Lunchtime food will be available for those who attend. Personal care items that often get overlooked because of finances — like haircuts and other personal hygiene — will be offered. Photographers will be present to offer folks a family picture. Local service agencies will be present to connect people with help from the community.
Dave Parkerson, outreach minister at Eastside, said this kind of an event has been on his heart for several years. As a youth minister, he would plan mission trips for junior high and senior high students to help them understand the importance of meeting the needs of the less fortunate.
Since taking on responsibilities of ministering to adults, Parkerson has helped organize relief efforts for tornado victims in Joplin, Mo., and Henryville. He began occasional “Free Market” events to provide clothing and material goods to those in need locally. Such events help the physical needs of the community and foster a spirit of generosity and grace among church members.
“It’s my desire that Christians are seen in a positive light in the community,” Parkerson said. “To me, this is something much bigger than just Eastside Christian Church. Christians are to show Christ’s love to the needy — and it’s important that those of us who have been blessed lead the way.”
That spirit has spread throughout the church; more than 250 people will be volunteering hours of preparation this week and most of the day Saturday.
Dave Hastings, senior minister at Eastside, sees this event as an important step in the spiritual development of the church’s members.
“We often say at Eastside that church is a verb. Be the church. Be the embodiment of Jesus to a world who needs his touch,” he said. “I’m hopeful that our volunteers will personally experience the thrill of being the hands, feet and mouth of Jesus on this day of service.”
Those who come on Saturday each have a story that often goes untold. Struggles, difficult circumstances, health and financial responsibilities often dictate the words of hopelessness in the story. Members of the church will greet the individuals or families and will help the folks select several of the services that are most pressing. They will accompany them from station to station, easing the anxiety and confusion that often arises. And along the way the church members will get a chance to share their own story — a story of the fingerprints of God’s love on life.
“If someone comes on Saturday and sees that people are caring and compassionate,” Parkerson said, “it may cause them to be interested in the story of a loving God that would motivate people to love in such a way. If one person starts searching for Christ because of this day, then we’ve done the thing we set out to do. But if one person decided to accept Christ and be baptized, it would be an incredibly awesome experience for us all.”
For more information about the Health and Wellness Event, call the church office at 812-288-9061 or simply show up on Saturday.