Clanton First United Methodist Church Pastor Larry Anderson, left, spoke to the Rotary Club of Chilton County about plans for the county's first "Great Day of Service." Anderson was invited to speak at the meeting by the Rev. Steve Reneau, whose church, Verbena United Methodist Church, is also participating in the effort.
Clanton First United Methodist Church Pastor Larry Anderson, left, spoke to the Rotary Club of Chilton County about plans for the county's first "Great Day of Service." Anderson was invited to speak at the meeting by the Rev. Steve Reneau, whose church, Verbena United Methodist Church, is also participating in the effort.

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Church leaders plan ‘Great Day of Service’

Published 2:38pm Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.”

So, it was fitting that the speaker at Wednesday’s meeting of the Rotary Club of Chilton County talked plans for an upcoming community service event.

Larry Anderson, pastor at Clanton First United Methodist Church, told club members that service was also a crucial component of Jesus Christ’s mandate to believers. So, Anderson and other local church leaders planned the county’s first “Great Day of Service.”

The effort, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on April 13, will feature various community members coming together to try to make a positive difference.

“Our goal is to show the community that we care, that you matter to us, and also that you matter to Jesus Christ,” said Anderson, speaking at the club’s regular meeting at Clara’s Country Cafe in Clanton.

Great Day of Service began in Montgomery about 10 years ago, Anderson said and added that about 2,000 people participated in the effort in 2010.

The effort has spread to other areas. Chilton County’s Great of Service could be unique because it will be interdenominational; others have been organized solely by United Methodists, while Chilton’s should include volunteers from several different church organizations.

“We purposely set out for it to be interdenominational,” Anderson said. “We’ll try to involve people from every church at every worksite. We felt it important to work together across denominational lines.”

Projects on the list of organizers include improvements at local schools, including Chilton County High School, Clanton Elementary School and Verbena Annex. Work will also be done at the mental health department office, and workers will clean headstones at the Clanton City Cemetery.

“We’re going to do as much good that day in the community as we can,” Anderson said.

The effort will conclude with a “block party” at Clanton Corner Park that will include lunch for volunteers.

Anderson said the interest in helping with the Great Day of Service was so high that there turned out to be more people willing to help than projects to help with.

Local residents will notice volunteers on April 13 by their bright yellow shirts.

Anderson said a Bible verse that captures the spirit of the effort is Galatians 6:2: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

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