The Clifton Ministerial Alliance recently hosted Neighborhood Clifton, beginning with songs, praise and worship in Clifton City Park, followed by volunteer efforts to help the community clean up and get a fresh coat of paint. First Presbyterian, Zion United, Trinity Lutheran, First United Methodist Church Clifton, Clifton Church of Christ, Immanuel Lutheran, and representatives from other congregations like First Baptist Church all attended.
Volunteer efforts even extended nationally, going to Haiti and Guatemala with more than 12,000 meals assembled for those in need. The outreach is part of the Clifton Food Bank and Kids Against Hunger as part of an outreach effort for locals during the summertime and people abroad. The food actually gets to the hands of people there directly, instead of held up or waylaid.
“Last year would have been our second year of the Ministerial Alliance doing Neighborhood Clifton. COVID-19 made it necessary to cancel last year.” – Pastor Mary Gean Cope of FUMC Clifton. “We rescheduled for the fall and had to cancel that again because of COVID. We tentatively said we would do it on the last Sunday of April annually. But we were still uncertain about whether we would be able to do it. Some churches didn’t have enough lead time to be able to put together enough effort like they have in the past. They weren’t able to participate this year, but they plan to participate next year.”
The tradition started with First Baptist Church three years ago, with all churches participating the next year. Last weekend, volunteers painted curbs, did landscaping work, minor repairs, and maintenance across households that signed up throughout Clifton. From those that can’t get out and work themselves, or those in need of a helping hand, a sea of green t-shirts crossed town with equipment and able bodies. A total of about 200 volunteers contributed.
The Clifton Ministerial Alliance is supported by several local churches of many different Christian denominations. The alliance runs the Clifton Food Bank, and also delivers food to 45 local households six times a year. The last Sunday of April is “Neighborhood Clifton” clean up day when members of the congregations get together for a picnic, devotion, prayer, and then take on work assignments in and around Clifton.” -Pastor Don Wright of Trinity Lutheran. “Volunteers do yard work, some painting and other helpful activities. This year hundreds of emergency food rations were prepared that can be shipped worldwide to places where famine and hunger are a problem. Many people have been very generous with their financial support of the Clifton Ministerial Alliance during the pandemic which makes it that much easier for us to love our neighbors as ourselves.“
About 10 households, many public areas, and other spaces were mowed, cleaned and more, complete with brush haul offs and three teams curb painting on 35 requests. Compost went to the Silo Project along State Highway 6 outside Clifton. Food storage units were constructed at the bank. The Earth team with the bobcat and drivers levelled the fenced-in yard at the Presbyterian Place, which house the food bank. Four teams of carpenters built raised beds in front of the food bank as well. Volunteers are sought to begin working on the raised bed project. A flower planting team worked in front of 10 different apartments at the Clifton Housing Authority on the north side of town. One team grilling hamburgers for any residents that wanted one, volunteer or not. He cooked in front of the community center on North Avenue J.
The Clifton Ministerial Alliance hosts other outreach projects, including the food bank hosted at First Presbyterian Church. For more on the alliance, click here and give them a like on Facebook. Neighborhood Clifton is a yearly project, and seeks both volunteers and those in need of serving in the spirit of Jesus Christ.