LDS families unite to serve Federal Way community with projects

Jacob Smith pauses for a smile while clearing dead leaves at Star Lake Elementary in the Federal Way school district for National Day of Service in October. Courtesy Sheryl Mackey

Jacob Smith pauses for a smile while clearing dead leaves at Star Lake Elementary in the Federal Way school district for National Day of Service in October. Courtesy Sheryl Mackey

The first Saturday of each month, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Federal Way Stake spend the morning working on projects at a home or school in the community.

Paul Walker, who previously served as bishop of the church’s Star Lake Ward, started Service Saturday 10 years ago. The idea came to him after thatching his yard by hand one morning and thinking about how much could be accomplished and all the time saved with many hands doing the work.

“We have painted, dug post holes, taken down trees, cleaned, removed garbage, chopped and stacked fire wood, weeded, raked, thatched, mowed, trimmed and pruned,” Walker said. “We begin at 8:30 sharp and end at 10 sharp. When you have 15 people working 90 minutes, that’s over 22 hours of work. You can get a lot of work done in that amount of time. By 10 o’clock, my family goes home with a glow of satisfaction knowing that we have made a difference, and the weekend has barely begun. Those are enduring lessons and memories we give to our children.”

Walker’s wife, JoAnn, said members rotate between different schools in the area, as well as different homes.

“We do this as a family and as a congregation because there is no better way to show our children how to be contributing members of society,” she said. “It also makes some fun family memories.”

The Church of Latter-day Saints Federal Way Stake has nine congregations housed in four church buildings and more than 3,000 members in the Federal Way area, which is comprised of six wards and three branches. There is a Korean language branch, a Spanish language branch and a young, single adult branch.

The website justserve.org is a resource for service ideas in the Federal Way area. Non-profit organizations can also post service opportunities on the site.

Contributed by Sheryl Mackey, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Federal Way Stake Public Affairs Committee

Jacob Smith pauses for a smile while clearing dead leaves at Star Lake Elementary in the Federal Way school district for National Day of Service in October. Courtesy Sheryl Mackey

Jacob Smith pauses for a smile while clearing dead leaves at Star Lake Elementary in the Federal Way school district for National Day of Service in October. Courtesy Sheryl Mackey

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