One year ago, Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church here launched a concept called “Micro Mission Trip.” The idea was simple ― engage more members in service by offering short service opportunities during the typical Sunday worship time slot four times a year.

The idea of worshiping and serving simultaneously was born in a Community Outreach Council meeting. “Since Saturdays are so crazy for many people, we thought about Sundays,” said the Rev. Elizabeth McLean, Preston Hollow’s associate pastor of mission and evangelism. “Then I remembered that the word in Hebrew for ‘worship’ also means ‘service.’”

The Micro Mission Trips have been a huge hit among families, and the fourth was successfully completed on Sunday, May 26.   Approximately 200 worshippers gathered at the church to stock cleanup buckets for Church World Service via Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). 

This activity was planned before the devastating tornadoes that struck the southern United States in late May. The tragedy that befell Granbury, Texas, May 15 energized the May 26 buckets assembly Micro Mission Trip. For the congregation, this tragedy hit so close to home ― just 75 miles from Dallas.

Sue Suneson, director of children’s ministries at Preston Hollow Church, shared a reflection of her experiences serving on May 26:

Filled buckets

Nearly full cleanup buckets are readied for distribution to disaster sites in Texas. —Courtesy of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church

“With the memory of tornado destruction still fresh, our mission was to fill buckets with cleaning supplies, to help families affected by disaster,” she said. “So, what is a Micro Mission Trip experience like? There was conversation and laughter as we gathered, and dress was casual.  Children inspected the numbered tables with cleaning supplies that were arrayed around the room.We traded sitting in pews for sitting on the upturned buckets we were about to fill, and registered our attendance by signing a poster board taped to the wall.”

Pastor Paul Seelman led the worship of liturgy, Scripture reading, prayer and work.

The task felt like a scavenger hunt, as we moved from station to station, collecting the needed items,” Suneson said. “Children of all ages delighted in searching out the table that held the next item on their list. In a remarkably short time, 200 buckets were filled, the buckets were loaded for delivery, and then we received the benediction. “

Kathryn Goldsmith is Director of Communications for Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church.