Love INC (In the Name of Christ) is the name of an organization that facilitates a covenant relationship of local congregations who have banded together to minister to the needs of the least in our community. Cowlitz County’s journey to Love INC began as a vision from the 100 volunteers from 8 congregations who traveled to the Gulf Coast to help in the 2005 Hurricane Katrina relief. On the trip home, these tired but excited volunteers posed an idea, “Why don’t we do this back home?”
That question led to an immense outpour of community service by 350 volunteers from 22 congregations. This motivated group completed 32 projects in one week in the spring of 2006. The service projects included: assistance to local schools, government programs, agencies, businesses, and families. The first “servant week” was so successful that it was repeated time and again by an ever-growing number of volunteers from local congregations. The reality was discovered that servant week was expanding into something far more significant than anyone initially imagined. These volunteers were so successful that they continued to seek out opportunities to serve.
After four years of successful united service, local congregational leaders agreed that something new was emerging in the community. “Servant week” was growing into multiple servant years. Also obvious, was the growing favor the church in the city was receiving from the community for serving selflessly together. So, in the spring of 2010, “servant week” leaders and local pastors agreed to formalize our commitment and become a Love INC affiliate. Love INC is an international organization made up of local affiliates composed of community congregations who are on the same journey that we found ourselves on.
Most of the projects people see Love INC serve in are the large projects like painting Broadway school as we did last summer. Or possibly you’ve seen some medium sized projects such as painting at the Progress Center earlier this spring. However, we are only able to do a few of these projects a year. As a result, most of Love INC’s service opportunities are small, like building wheel chair ramps, helping an elderly person move, or providing a single mom with furniture. These are the projects that keep Love INC working daily. Our heart is to take care of the least of these. No one should fall through the cracks. Knowing that we had 60 requests for assistance in May alone, we can predict that there will easily be over 300 of these opportunities, big and small, to help the least this year.
Please understand, Love INC only works as a new wine skin when local congregations and leaders choose to come together to serve the community. Love INC was never meant to be another non-profit organization carving out its own sphere of ministry in the community. All of those ministries are important, but Love INC is only meant to be a place of uniting the church with selfless service to the least, hence our motto: “Living to Love, Loving to Serve, Together”.
This summer, projects will include: re-roofing 2 homes, painting a group home for handicapped adults, fencing in a play area for a children’s group home, cleaning up Riverside Park, doing yard work for about 2 dozen elderly adults, and dozens of weekly calls for assistance. To volunteer you can call the Love INC office at (360) 232-8576. Please visit our Facebook page and “like” us to keep getting the word out about Love INC. You can also visit our website loveinccowlitz.com for more information and opportunities.
Thank you for reading and God bless!