by Stefani Leeper  |  28 January 2020  | 

Many of us who have ever been in a pinch while traveling know the struggle of finding a secure and affordable place to sleep. Sometimes, we gathered on the gym floor of the local Adventist church, or were fortunate enough to be offered the guest room in the pastor’s home. But the Green Lake Church of Seventh-day Adventists takes hospitality to another level, offering its very own guest houses. And it doesn’t stop there.

Led by Pastor John McLarty, this congregation might be best known for exhibiting the character of Christ through its community outreach. 

“Jesus challenged us to live as ‘children of God’ by practicing radical generosity,” enthused McLarty when asked how Christ challenges contemporary culture. “In the Kingdom of Heaven, the highest purpose of wealth is funding generosity.”

The Green Lake Foundation answers the call. The Foundation serves as a charity and supporting organization through which funds are collected and then distributed to meet the church’s mission to love and serve its neighbors. 

Located in the larger Seattle region, which ranks third in the United States with over 12,000 homeless, the church combats the staggering statistic with care packages. These gifts are equipped with essential hygiene, food, and clothing items. 

Donations are also received to support Aurora Commons, which cares for unhoused members of the community.

In addition to feeding 75 homeless individuals every fourth Sunday of the month, members serve Thanksgiving dinner to 60 to 80 families each year. During the holiday season, the church provides breakfast and lunch for school children of struggling families.

And then there’s the aforementioned Jenson and Meridian Houses—the latter made possible in large part by Don and Shirley Mehrer—for those seeking affordable lodging while obtaining medical treatment at a local hospital or medical center, cites Heidi Baumgartner in GleanerNow.   

Ministry outreach works on a smaller scale too. For those seeking counseling or one-on-one discussions with Pastor McLarty, they are welcome to join him for supper on Wednesdays. 

But the focus isn’t just local.

For 14 years, their Hands Across the Water offering has collected funds to aid children in need around the world.  

Green Lake Church, which has been in operation since December 13, 1947, and whose ministry is built on truth, hope, and love, seeks to serve as a safe place for its visitors and over 550 members. It is partnered with Green Lake Preschool and Childcare, Cypress Adventist School, and Auburn Adventist Academy.

For more information about Green Lake Church and its ministries, visit https://www.greenlakesda.org/. You can learn more about Green Lake’s history and community outreach via its newsletters at http://greenlakefoundation.org/.