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Church volunteers tackle tumbleweeds
Helping clear tumbleweeds along the Moffat Boulevard leg of the Tidewater Bikeway are, from left, Steve Hawkinson, Mary Alice McClean, and Dave Peters. - photo by HIME ROMERO
There should be no physical walls to a church.

That simple philosophy gave birth to Crossroads Grace Community Church’s 2nd Saturday community outreach.

Hundreds of church members – along with community volunteers who elect to help  – set aside the second Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon to do everything from helping the elderly with small home maintenance projects to gleaning fruit to help feed the needy.

On Saturday, three groups of volunteers undertook projects. One group spent time visiting and playing board games with the elderly at various rest homes. Another group trimmed hedges and pulled weeds along the northern segment of the Tidewater Bikeway while a third group whacked down tumbleweeds-in-the-making along the Moffat leg of the Tidewater.

The Moffat work is a precursor to Crossroads Grace Community Church’s “Takin’ It to the Streets” on Sunday, Oct., 11. Instead of conducting two morning services, the 1,000 congregation members will tackle numerous community projects including the planting of 250 trees along the Tidewater Bikeway.

The church’s effort is making it possible for the city to start landscaping along the Moffat segment of the Tidewater. A contractor is now installing the irrigation system. The church will help with follow up care on the trees as well.

2nd Saturday serves as a monthly opportunity for Mantecans to join others in serving the community. Hundreds have participated by setting aside four hours on the second Saturday of the month, viewing a list of projects to then choose from, and then serving the community together for the morning.

“It is very grass-roots, very rewarding, and very effective. This last month we trimmed hedges and landscaping on the bike trail, cleaned areas of trash and debris, visited a rest home, and continued a landscaping makeover of a widow’s home,” Outreach Minister Jim Todd noted in a release.

 For a list of past projects, visit

“This is faith-based (sponsored by Crossroads Grace Community Church), and is welcoming, inclusive and simple. We invite anyone to join us in serving our community together monthly,” Todd added.

 A release form is necessary and found online to download (or to complete that morning), and pre-registration is not necessary.

The church’s website notes 2nd Saturday is a ministry Crossroads 18 months ago of intentional ministry outside the walls of Crossroads to create “a steady flow of service opportunities for anyone to come join for the morning as a means of outreach. Evangelism is sharing about Jesus, and sharing how God loves humanity so much He went out of His way to show His love. When we share about the Lord, it may or may not include words ... and many churches nationally are seeing how “servant evangelism” is a viable area of outreach to invest time and energy.”