In celebration of our 175th Anniversary, we will be doing many service projects throughout the year. These projects will spread the celebration of Ozark Christian Church's 175th year, not only throughout our community, but also to our world. We started the celebration in February by setting a goal of collecting 175 cans of food for the Least of These. By the end of the month we had exceeded that goal and collected 229 pounds of food!
In March, we have started on our "Celebration Shoes" - collecting 175 pairs of shoes for Shadow of His Wings orphanage in Guatamala. The directors of this orphanage are Bryon & Tiffany Applegate, who are friends from Ozark, so even though we are taking our celebration worldwide, we still have an Ozark connection.
Another project is the "Tree of Kindness" with the goal of 175 random acts of kindness recorded on individual leaves. Though it seems that modesty is preventing the recording of all acts, the tree has 94 leaves so far! They read things like "picked up trash along the road" and "took neighbor's trash can to the curb."
We will also begin our personal health journey of "175 Miles of Moving" allowing our members to celebrate, while also benefiting themselves. We are hoping those wishing to participate will complete 175 miles of walking, swimming, biking, jogging, vacuuming, horseback riding, water aerobics, or whatever way they chose to do, and in any combination, just as long as they are moving. There is no time limit on this celebratory activity and members can track of their own progress on a chart.
Other ideas being discussed include planting 175 flower bulbs on our church property, preparing 175 foster care kid kits and collecting 175 books to donate to a worthy organization. Our minds are racing with ideas, our hands are busy fulfilling those ideas and our hearts are growing with God's love and blessings. We would like to continue this celebration method all year long, because 175 is a BIG number and definitely worth celebrating.
Celebration Sunday is May 3 at 10:00am. Anyone wanting additional information or to RSVP should call the church office at 417-581-6796. We are planning a special celebration service with lots of music, remembrances and recognitions, followed by a catered lunch (hence the RSVP is necessary). Our old church site, which is now known as Bell Tower Chapel, will also be opened that afternoon for anyone to visit and reminisce.
Thanks to Marna Strahl for this information and photos.