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Journey Serves — Community Impact and Missions


When Jesus showed up on the scene, he said that he was all about “good news for the poor.” So, like him, we want to spread good news for the poor, the dejected, the unseen, the broken, the wounded, the outcasts. Through Journey Serves, we hope to spread good news by feeding people, clothing people, helping people back on their feet, cleaning up our local parks, partnering globally in communities like Carrefour, Haiti and Tecate, Mexico.

Keep up to date on ways to serve by visiting this page often. Together, we can bring heaven to earth.

La Mesa Flag Day Parade

May 14, 2015 3:56 pm

La Mesa’s 2015 Flag Day Parade is a couple of weeks away (Saturday, May 30) and we are looking for volunteers to help out! This is a great opportunity for Journey to serve in its community. Time involved is minimal – a few hours on Saturday morning. It’s fun and you can serve with your family, friends or kids.

Remember the movie Little Nikita? Richard Benjamin, Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix? “An FBI agent works to uncover an All-American family as Soviet sleeper agents and gets caught up in friendship with their unaware son.” 1988?

Whether you remember it or not, my point is (yes, there is a point to this!) that there was a scene in the movie that showed a main street parade in a small town. Well, that town was La Mesa! Yep, I was in the crowd with my 5 year old daughter Sarah on my shoulders (for what seemed like an eternity!) hoping to get her in the movie.

No luck. But it makes my point that downtown La Mesa is a great place for a ‘small town parade.’ True, some of the entrees are a bit hokey but that’s what makes it a small town parade, doncha think?

On Saturday, May 30, during the morning hours, La Mesa will hold the 2015 version and you are invited to help out. Come on down and you’ll get to see what happens behind the scenes. You can direct traffic, stage the entrees, carry signs . . . fun stuff like that. And you can bring your kids!

Come join us as we celebrate Flag Day and La Mesa . . . our home town!

Contact David Merk for more information.

Summer Lunch Program For La Mesa Youth

May 14, 2015 2:58 pm

Our local schools work hard to make a child’s learning experience as fruitful as possible. Along with their significant efforts in the classroom, they also offer free meals each day to students who qualify. A significant percentage of kids in our local schools are eligible. In many schools, the number is 100%.

Numerous studies have shown that hunger plays out in the classroom. Hungry children struggle to concentrate in class, visit the school nurse with daily headaches and stomachaches, and may act out because they are hungry. In addition to the obvious long-term impacts of poor nutrition on a students’ health, studies have found that when even healthy, well-nourished school-aged children do not eat breakfast, the speed and accuracy of their response on problem-solving tasks is impaired.

So, these free meals offered during the school year are important for the 1 in 5 children nationally who suffer from hunger. But what about the summer when these meals are not offered?

This summer, the Interfaith Council of La Mesa will be providing lunch to children under the age of 18, no questions asked. The meals will be served at the Vista La Mesa Christian Church (Massachusetts and University) on each of the 37 days of summer recess. The food will be provided by the La Mesa/Spring Valley School District.

We need volunteers to help out. Soon, our on-line registration will be up and running and you can sign up for one day, multiple days or the same day each week. However, for now we are looking for people who would be willing to serve as lunch Captains (don’t panic, it’s easy!). If you can serve in that role for a day, a week, or more, or if you would like to find out what’s involved, please join us at La Mesa Christian at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2 for a one-hour training session.

If you plan on attending, please let David Merk know.


Helping Out The Homeless

May 11, 2015 3:37 pm

HOPE FOR THE HOMELESS is looking for your excess Sample/Travel Size items of:

•    Lotions
•    Sunscreen
•    Shampoo
•    Conditioner

Please don’t buy these items! Instead, collect them during your summer vacation, raid the Maid Cart (forget that!), and clean out your closet of the samples that you have collected over the years and drop them off in the Food Bank carts outside the church office or the Food Bank.

Questions? Contact David Merk.

Serving Our Teachers!

April 13, 2015 10:59 am

Journey loves its teachers! May 4 through 8 is Teacher Appreciation Week! On each of these days, Journey will be serving lunch to the teachers and staff at one of our four partner schools: Bancroft Elementary School and Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley; San Miguel Elementary in Lemon Grove; and La Mesa Middle School. We serve them a buffet lunch, tell them that we ‘have their backs’ and sit and chat with them. Join us during lunchtime on one of these days as we bless our schools and teachers and tell them how important they are to us.

Interested? For more information, let David Merk know.

It’s Summer Time . . . Almost!

March 30, 2015 11:40 am


Are you considering opportunities to serve this summer? Interested in doing good works in and for your community? Looking to work side-by-side with your children?

This summer there are a number of fun service opportunities for you and your family.

•    May 4 – 8. National Teacher Appreciation Week
•    May 30. La Mesa Flag Day Parade
•    June 22 – August 12. Summer Lunch Program
•    July 21 – 24. Summer Fun Camp – Tecate
•    August 10 – 13. Collection of Teacher Supplies
•    September (TBD). Kid’s Care Fest

National Teacher Appreciation Week: May 4 – 8

Journey loves its teachers and local schools. We recognize that they work hard, often with inadequate resources and little support. We want them to know that we are behind them and ready to help when we’re needed.

May 4 – 8 is National Teacher Appreciation Week and May 6 is National Teacher Appreciation Day. What better time to step up! We will be serving a special lunch to each of our four partner schools (Bancroft Elementary School, La Mesa Middle School, Monte Vista High School, San Miguel Elementary School) on a different day of this week,

Help Needed: Three or four persons per day. Pick a day (T – Fri). Serve food, chat with teachers and tell them how much you appreciate them.

The request for volunteers for this project will be re-advertised in Journey Connect Weekly Update, and other media, when we are a few weeks away from the project date.

La Mesa Flag Day Parade: Saturday, May 30

An annual event of the city of La Mesa! Several years ago, the City asked for Journey’s help in providing volunteers for the parade. Twenty people would be great. A terrific event for you and your children to work side-by-side!

Help Needed: Twenty people, 9 a.m. to noon! Simple tasks – helping make sure that floats and bands and such are properly lined up, some traffic direction, carrying banners . . . easy stuff like that.

The request for volunteers for this project will be re-advertised in Journey Connect Weekly Update, and other media, when we are a few weeks away from the project date.

Summer Lunch Program: June 22 – August 12

One in six persons in San Diego are “food insecure” (i.e., do not know from where their next meal will come). For school children who receive a free lunch during the school year, this is a particular problem. Last year, La Mesa churches joined together to distribute lunches from the school district during summer break and we are doing so again this year!

Help Needed: The Summer Lunch Program will take place at Vista La Mesa Christian Church at the corner of University and Massachusetts in La Mesa. Adults will be needed every day from about 11 to 12:30. Hand out lunch and hang out with the kids!

The request for volunteers for this project will be re-advertised in Journey Connect Weekly Update, and other media, when we are a few weeks away from the project date.

Summer Fun Camp – Tecate:  July 21 – 24

Year 3 of SFC-T! Two hundred and fifty cool, young kids having the time of their lives. As Linda Doss (co-director of HIS Ministry, Tecate) says: “This is their Disneyland.” We go down on Tuesday. Camp runs Wednesday through Friday. Saturday is the fiesta, open to local families and friends. Yes, we sleep on cots and mattresses on the floor, but that’s part of the fun.

Help Needed: Fully staffed would be around 50 people. Although there are plenty of positions that need to be filled, the one that EVERYONE shares is loving kids. Must be over 18.

Interested? Contact Bonnie Henderson, SFC-T Volunteer Coordinator

The request for volunteers for this project will be re-advertised in Journey Connect Weekly Update, and other media, when we are a few weeks away from the project date.

Collection of Teacher Supplies: August 10 – 13

School suppliesA big event! For the last few years, Journey attenders have given thousands and thousands of dollars of school supplies to our partner schools. They appreciate it . . . you . . . so much. Without you, they would be spending even more of their own money on these supplies.

Help Needed: We need a (smallish) team of people to help assemble the supplies . . . maybe a small group. In addition, it would be great to have several people at each of the deliveries to our four partner schools. Choose a day.

The request for volunteers for this project will be re-advertised in Journey Connect Weekly Update, and other media, when we are a few weeks away from the project date.

Kid’s Care Fest:  September (TBD)

Kids Care Fest 2013_5296-X2Another request for assistance from the City!

A few years ago, the City of La Mesa and Grossmont Health Care District asked Journey to be involved in Kid’s Care Fest. KCF has become an annual event in which doctors, nurses and other health care workers provide medical exams for 1,000 children who might not otherwise receive them. Journey’s role is to provide a fun time for kids walking through the different display areas. Arts, crafts, and face painting.

Help Needed: Lots and LOTS of kids come to put together the crafts and get their faces painted. LOTS of faces! It would be great to have 30 to 40 volunteers, 15 to 20 in each of the 2-½ hour sections – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The request for volunteers for this project will be re-advertised in Journey Connect Weekly Update, and other media, when we are a few weeks away from the project date.

Questions about any of the above? Input? Sign Up?

Contact me at:
Community Impact/SocialJustice/Global Missions

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