Measuring out a full day of miracles

Volunteers craft garedens, labyrinth at Sierra Christian
By: Anne Stokes, Placer Herald Correspondent
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By Anne Stokes Placer Herald Correspondent More than 110 volunteers descended upon Sierra Christian Church last Saturday for a “Miracle Day” project. Members of the Disciples of Christ showed up at the Rocklin Road church to build an intricate labyrinth, create a meditation garden and enlarge the community garden with raised planter beds, a composting area and tool shed. And the hoard of volunteers from throughout Northern California and Nevada completed the church’s “to do” list of tasks in just one day. California Nevada Disciples of Christ Regional minister Ben Bohren organized the first Miracle Day program in 1997. It has since caught on throughout the nation. “We do this with different local congregations every other year. Our region, which is 70 congregations, raises the money to help support this and the volunteers,” he said. “People start out believing ‘we can never do this, we’ll never get this done.’ But with a lot of cooperation, hard work, faith, prayer and the miracles of God coming together, it all happens.” Sierra Christian Church member Pat Hughes was inspired by last Saturday’s efforts. “What really warms my heart is to know that we have so many people in this region who are willing to come and work, and work hard, to help make something like this come about,” Hughes said. “It’s just been beautiful” Area residents are welcome to walk the labyrinth or use the meditation garden, Hughes added. Members of the church congregation did quite a bit of advance work before Saturday, explained Jim Watkins. “We worked probably for a couple of weeks getting everything ready, getting the ground level, getting the labyrinth, and the meditation garden, and the community garden materials laid out so that when the volunteers got here, everything would be ready for them to go to work,” Watkins said. But the work to coordinate such a large effort and group of volunteers started much earlier, added Sierra Christian Church Pastor, Reverend Bill Garrett. “This is part of the Holy Ground project that we’ve been working on for a couple of years,” Garrett said. “We want to be able to open up our facility to the community. People come and they just love being here out in the open, watching the animals, planting plants, and so it’s been a very therapeutic, very spiritual, experience for a lot of people.” Carl Cordes, who is active with the Vallejo First Christian Church, believes in the miracle of cooperation. “It’s what God has told us to do and what I believe in doing,” he said. “We try to help each other as best we can and this is one way that we do it. And there’s no other word for it. It’s a miracle.” Not only was the labor important, Bohren added, but it was also the idea that working together could “give a local congregation the empowerment and faith in themselves that they can do a ministry for their community and for their own people that will make a difference. “And that’s the idea — that doing it together strengthens everybody,” he concluded. Sierra Christian Church is located at 5645 Rocklin Road (east of Sierra College Boulevard) near Interstate 80.