Almost 1,600 volunteers participated in the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church's Community Serve Day on Feb. 8, helping with more than 60 service projects throughout San Diego County.
"The church has left the building," said Pastor Tom Theriault in front of the dark and empty main sanctuary.
Instead of holding Sunday worship services, the church members helped with more than 60 service projects throughout San Diego County, from building benches and cleaning up lagoons, to stuffing gift bags for military families with groceries.
The church was founded on the principal of being for the community, not simply located in the community, Theriault explained. Other churches have done similar events, and so they jumped at the chance to help their community.
Projects were selected based on member's input.
"We asked them 'Where do you care in the community; are already involved?'" Theriault said. "We'll pile on the people, the love, the attention, the supplies."
While some people needed time to adjust to the idea of not going to church on Sunday morning, everyone seemed to have fun while completing a significant amount of work that will touch hundreds of people.
The Solana Beach City Council applauded and thanked the congregation at their Feb. 11 meeting for the projects they tackled within the city, including cleaning the Fletcher Cover Community Center and Historical Society Museum, painting and planting at La Colonia Community Center and the community picnic held at La Colonia Park.