By Conrad Dudderar
A community worship service highlighted Yukon’s inaugural “Light Up the Darkness” community service project.
The outreach started on Sunday, Jan. 9 as Yukon-area churches joined forces to observe Epiphany.
“I’m encouraged to see the city of Yukon and our churches come together,” said Pastor Mark Borseth, of Yukon’s Resurrection Lutheran Church.
“In my 10 years here in Yukon, it’s been a blessing to see the unity of the churches and the motivation of the community when we seek to come together to make a difference.”
While the Epiphany season ends on Ash Wednesday, March 2, Yukon’s Light Up the Darkness effort will continue to serve the community at least a few more weeks.
Some 60 people attended the community worship service on Feb. 16 at Yukon’s First United Methodist Church. The service was moved from Yukon’s First Baptist Church “Prayer Garden” due to an inclement weather forecast.
“It ended up being better because we had more opportunity to sit down, talk and have fellowship,” Pastor Borseth said. “The service was very pleasant, with good, personal devotional thoughts from the pastors, some music and prayer.
“Everyone who came to the worship service stayed for a long time afterwards.”
During this cold, dark winter, Light Up the Darkness is helping people stay warm and bright as participating churches show “God’s light” to others.
Light Up the Darkness is serving Yukon’s homeless while providing blankets, hand warmers, coats, hats, gloves, flashlights, and other supplies to anyone who needs them.
As part of this effort, the Canadian County Salvation Army is helping people struggling to pay high winter utility bills.
“It’s been several thousand dollars that we’ve raised,” Borseth said. “We’ve already surpassed the total amount of utility assistance that the Salvation Army of Canadian County was able to give last year.
“Everything else that they can do this year is going to be ‘above and beyond’ because of the money that we’ve raised. Money is still coming in.”
The Resurrection Kids’ program has even collected more than $400 in just two weeks – with two more weeks to go.
“It’s neat to see different people get mobilized to care about their neighbors,” Borseth said.
There are two more chances for Yukon residents to apply for Salvation Army’s utility assistance program:
- Thursday, March 3 from 4-7 p.m. at Chisholm Trail Presbyterian Church, 801 W Vandament (405-354-3745)
- Thursday, March 17 from 4-7 p.m. at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 675 W Vandament (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“As this (winter) season lingers on and utility costs have gone up this year, we are still very much welcoming any donations,” Pastor Borseth said. “From this point on – dollar for dollar – what we get in is what will be given away.”
Light Up the Darkness kicked off with five churches: Resurrection Lutheran Church, alongside Yukon First United Methodist Church, Yukon First Church of the Nazarene, Canadian Hills Church of the Nazarene, and Chisholm Trail Presbyterian Church.
Several more congregations have since joined this growing community outreach effort – West Point Christian Church, LifeChurch and Freedom Fellowship.
“We have had individual participation from people from other churches as well,” Borseth said. “It started as five churches but it’s now eight – and more churches have been involved in one way or another.
“Due to the success of this year, it looks likely we’ll do this again next year.”
Anyone who needs supplies is encouraged to contact a participating church. For more information, visit http://www.rlcok.org/light-up-the-darkness.html