This year’s Service Day was Friday, October 6. For over 20 years CLHS students and staff have gone out into the community for a day of service. My oldest memory of this event takes me back to mulching at an assisted living home and spending some time with residents. I cannot recall how the work site was decided; what I do remember is going out as a school in “homerooms” of anywhere from 15-30 students.
The format of Service Day has changed over the years, and any graduate from the last decade will tell you that the details of the day are now owned by the 12 or so students and one adult mentor that form each Koinonia group. All of this year’s 66 Koinonia groups have used the opening months of the school year to find a place that might be blessed by 40+ hours of work. It is amazing how much work a dozen high school students can accomplish in just a few hours!
This year about 20% of all groups served at 12 new work sites. Close to one-third of all sites are a Lutheran entity (churches, schools, and various non-profits) and over 10% house some form of God’s furry creation. The remaining sites were primarily comprised of various outreach ministries, public schools and service organizations, and health and wellness services.
As Service Day drew near, so did some last-minute adjustments. A work site, which is agreed upon by the group and then reserved by a student leader, might turn out to be unavailable for any number of reasons. The group scrambles to find a new site — some years this has happened the morning of Service Day — and without fail the Lord provides a meaningful experience.
This experience is anything but a day off from learning, and while our “classrooms” for Service Day are as varied as the work sites, many students return at the end of the day with a sense of satisfaction in what was accomplished as well as a hunger to serve further.
This year’s school theme, “United in Service,” is based on 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 which acknowledges the variety of gifts God provides to accomplish service in a variety of. As the body of Christ, we are empowered to serve others in love, draw closer to our brothers and sisters in faith, and also share that faith in both word and deed.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6