Instead of attending church that weekend, congregants are participating in 33 service projects in the Bay Area, with a focus on local hunger and poverty.
Among the new projects in Menlo Park this year are making meal kits for hungry children and their families that are served by the organization, Feeding Children Everywhere. Also, volunteers will install a new floor and do spring cleaning at Haven House Family Shelter in Menlo Park.
Last year, 4,000 volunteers participated in Compassion Weekend, said church spokesperson Monica Brandt. Expenses for supplies and materials are paid for by the church's Christmas offering, she said.
Compassion Weekend is an effort by the church to "better understand and engage with" the local community, she said.