People must have their temporal
(food, clothing, shelter)
along with their spiritual
needs. "Half of all volunteering occurs in a religious context."
Robert Putnam, Harvard professor
(“Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community"
Christians who serve those in need, do not seek notice from the press or the accolades of men. Most of their charitable work is never known, much less acknowledged, by the world. That is not our goal. We serve because we have one desire - to do good. We reach out to lift others, because this is what disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ have done since the foundation of the world. We give because the Savior gave. We lift others, because it is a foundational principle of our faith.
- Faith-based institutions engage nearly half of the total number of American volunteers. (White House council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships)
- Make time to visit members of your church, and administer to their needs.
- Ask your congregational pastor/bishop/minister who needs service.
- The Savior has asked us to “feed the hungry, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison.”
- Help take in the stranger, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked by supporting the homeless programs.
- Visit the sick by
supporting the organizations which help children who are ill,
undergoing surgery, or have cancer and life-threatening illnesses.
- Visit those in prison by supporting Spokane’s correctional facilities.
- Reduce homelessness. Many of
the 475 Christian churches in Spokane are already working very hard to
address our social problems. Each congregation can consider sponsoring
a homeless individual or family as they transition into permanent
employment and housing.
One congregation may want to help individuals 18-22 who have just left
foster care and are learning to live independently. Another
congregation may want to help a homeless woman with children transition
into a permanent home.
- Gather household items and clothing in your congregation,
and donate them to a family transitioning from homelessness into a
permanent home. Call the shelters listed on this website to request a
family in need of this assistance. Determine the move-in date, and a
list of specific items needed (such as sofa, chairs, tables, lamps,
floor rugs, high chair, pots/pans, mixing bowls, cookie sheet, bowls,
plates, cups, glasses, silverware, spatula, mixing spoons, measuring
cups/spoons, can opener, microwave, blender, small appliances, mixer,
kitchen towels, dishcloths, cleaning supplies, vacuum, broom, mop, dish
soap, laundry soap, Comet, Windex, toilet brush, cleaning rags, sheets,
blankets, pillows, crib, crib sheets, dressers). Designate a central
drop-off location, and offer to pick up larger items such as
furniture. Then, watch the love and enthusiasm spread.
- In 2014, Life Center North Church in Spokane had a reverse offering, giving envelopes of money to members with instructions to do something good with it. One group decided to put on an Easter egg hunt for kids with special needs, who might feel left out at traditional egg hunts. This has become an annual event, where children can enjoy hunting for eggs in either a section of toy-filled eggs, or a section of candy-filled eggs. There is another area for children in wheelchairs, who can use a "reacher" stick to grab an egg and lift it off the ground. "Our goal is to give kids a moment to be kids. They're all the same here," said Ronda Swanson, one of the event organizers.
- Volunteer to serve in your Church.
Assist with services, sing in choirs, teach classes, lead youth
organizations, lead Scout troops, organize sports programs, help with
office clerical work, plan church socials, visit those who are
home-bound, and participate in charitable service groups. Your service
will help strengthen families and the community, and bless your own
- Take worship services and activity programs to others in care centers, hospitals, housing units for the elderly, and people with disabilities.
- Serve a mission of any kind, including humanitarian service.
- Encourage programs that instruct the members of your church on strengthening the family,
and the importance of living a charitable life. Invite occasional
speakers from local charitable organizations to speak on local issues.
- Promote the 12 Steps programs (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) which have been intertwined with Christian principles.
- Support the many religious-based social services,
such as Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, Volunteers of
America, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, the
YMCA and YWCA, and many others.
- Organize an interfaith music concert to bring Spokane’s churches together.
Encourage youth and adults from soloists to choirs to participate.
Serve refreshments to encourage interfaith friendships and a spirit of
cooperation and unity in our desire for a better society.
(Faith and Families Report)
Interfaith Council of the Inland Northwest
1620 N. Monroe
Spokane, WA 99205.
Interfaith cooperation blesses everyone.