Writing by Faith


Dan Whitmarsh

Churches Lend a Helping Hand

A group of volunteers gathered along the Key Peninsula Highway to build a garden in March. The Lakebay Church owns the property, but the workers came from a collection of organizations. Present were men and women from Seeds of Grace, Hope Recovery Center, Washington Youth Academy, various recovery groups and individuals who simply came to offer a helping hand.

We are excited as we wait for that garden to grow and look forward to delivering produce to food banks in the area. What had been an empty field will become a resource to feed families on the Key Peninsula. I’m proud to serve a church that cares about people.

This is just one of many ways churches on the peninsula serve our community. They often prefer to serve quietly rather than drawing attention to their work. However, since I regularly meet with the KP pastors, I get to hear about all the great things that are happening.

Churches offer encouragement and friendship to young mothers and their babies. Many offer parenting classes; marriage seminars; financial training and counseling for couples, families and individuals who find themselves struggling with life’s challenges. Wellspring Fellowship has made the support and building up of families the core of their ministry.

Most of the churches are involved in the ongoing battle with drug addiction on the peninsula. Some host recovery groups, while others are partnering with New Hope Recovery to build a recovery center. Key to Life Church has made compassion and service of troubled people a priority in its work.

The Longbranch Church is a social center for the south end of the peninsula. Its bluegrass and barbecue festival is a highlight of the summer, drawing in crowds from all over the state.

WayPoint has a candy carnival in October, creating a safe, fun environment for children and their parents. Key Peninsula Lutheran hosts meals for local people. Grace Church in Home volunteers its time at the KP Community Services Center. Many of these churches offer their facilities for the use of community groups.

The churches of the KP provide youth and children’s programs to help children find healthy friendships and activities. Some of the churches offer food programs, including twice-weekly grocery distribution at the Lakebay Church. Churches often help with financial assistance when neighbors have difficulties paying for utilities, groceries or medicine.

In addition to their own work, churches on the Key Peninsula actively support other service organizations. These include the Red Barn Youth Center, Food Backpacks 4 Kids, The Mustard Seed Project and the Peninsula Prayer Ministry.

I am aware that churches are not the only organizations that offer support to the peninsula. There are many wonderful groups that pour resources into our community. Countless individuals serve their friends and neighbors in sacrificial ways. But I am convinced the people who make up the churches here give more to the community than most will ever know.

We’re proud to call the KP home and happy to serve our neighbors wherever we can.