Church & Community Service Expo bigger than ever
September 8, 2008
On fair-weathered Tuesday, August 26, Corban College and Graduate School hosted a fair for students to find a great fit for their Church & Community Service requirement. This year’s CCS Expo came to life with hundreds of students exploring Salem’s volunteer opportunities. The event featured 20 churches and 37 civic organizations from the Mid-Valley area.
Corban Dining Services served a barbeque lunch and students were welcomed into the sports center where they entered door prize drawings. The prizes included $50 for the Corban Bookstore from Salem Leadership Foundation, a gift basket from Ten Thousand Villages, a quilt from the Union Gospel Mission, coffee cards, and much more. The atmosphere was light as students ate, mingled, and investigated service options.
Jennifer Senner of Mission Mill thought the fair setting of the Expo accomplished its purpose: “Students are just trying to get acquainted with Salem and find out what’s here.” She enjoyed meeting students and telling them about upcoming museum events like the hands-on, family-friendly, evening series with lights called “Magic at the Mill.”
Director of CCS, Lori Schilling, said that this is the fourth Expo she’s facilitated. “Everybody seems to have a great time.”
Washington Elementary School Community Outreach Coordinator Rosalba Diaz returned to Corban for her second Expo. She had ten students sign up for both short- and long-term projects. “The Expo was much bigger than last year. Every organization had their own table last year, but this year several organizations had to share tables to fit us all in. It was a good event. I was impressed."
From volunteering to walk dogs at the Marion County Dog Shelter, to mentoring local children in church ministries, to joining clean-up efforts at Oregon State Parks, students can meet their graduation requirement for CCS in a way that is personally gratifying.
Junior Jordan Lindsey, a pre-veterinary science major, is thinking of serving at the Humane Society this year because of its correlation with his career path. But for the last two years, he has served with Faith Baptist’s Awana Program as a Cubbies Leader of preschoolers. At first, Lindsey felt somewhat intimidated about getting involved, but—mainly because the Faith Baptist staff welcomed, trained, and supported him—he felt plugged in to the ministry right away. In regard to serving he encouraged, “It’s not scary. They like you there.”
Each credit earned in Corban’s CCS program is equivalent to a minimum of 25 hours of preparation and volunteer service. After choosing an outreach, students fill out an application for the credit. Following completion of their service, students write a reflection paper and are evaluated by their supervisor. A typical undergraduate student is required to earn two church service credits, two community service credits, and two spiritual growth credits. Cross-cultural experiences are strongly encouraged as well.
Corban designed the CCS program to balance academic knowledge with real life application in practical leadership and service. In its directive booklet, Schilling outlines, “It is our hope that your CCS experience will translate into a lifetime of serving others.”
So while a goal of CCS is to train students to regularly contribute to church and community, the Expo was about the start of that beautiful friendship. Lindsey expressed, “It was really cool to see how the city of Salem is supportive of Corban and that they help us out and try to make a connection with us.”