It may be seven months since the members of the First United Methodist Church of Turlock gathered together in one place worship, but the social distance hasn’t stopped the congregation from spreading love through the community. In fact, the church just launched its newest outreach campaign, #LOVEYOURNEIGHBOR.
“The timing with the elections there’s so much divisiveness, it was a perfect opportunity to create some inclusion, close some spaces between folks, share kindness and love and that’s what the world needs right now,” said FUMC Turlock Director of Christian Education Dawn Mallory.
The campaign has one goal — spread love through small acts of kindness and words of encouragement. When See’s Candies heard about the campaign, the chocolate company donated some sweet treats to help spread the uplifting message. Members of FUMC Turlock have given out over 140 boxes of candy with the Love Your Neighbor message attached to teachers, students, essential workers and random people throughout the surrounding area.
“I was in Denair yesterday and every time I saw someone, I’d give them a box,” said Trish Panos, a member of the church.
The church also had yard signs made with the Love Your Neighbor message on them and then blank spaces on top so that individual words of encouragement could be written on them before giving them to a neighbor. The FUMC Turlock church front yard on the corner of Arbor Way and Berkeley Avenue has a number of the blank signs available for anyone to pick up and then use to spread a positive message.
“That’s been our focus, the world needs love and we’re trying to give it,” said Mallory.
Along with the positive words, the church hopes to inspire random acts of kindness such as:
- Raking your neighbor’s yard;
- Picking up trash at a nearby park;
- Giving a thank you treat to mail carriers, delivery drivers and sanitation employees;
- Creating sidewalk chalk drawings with positive messages for passersby; and
- Taking a prayer walk in the neighborhood and praying for each house.
“There are all kinds of little things that will add up into a big impact if they do it,” said Mallory.The campaign is set to continue through Nov. 22. For more information, visit fumcturlock.org.