December 3, 2023

Students from California Baptist University lead their church in worship singing the well-known contemporary song, “Forever Reign,” during a Sunday service at Sandals Church in Riverside. Raine Paul | Banner

For many students, dedicating time to volunteering at local churches has played an essential role in their lives.

While serving is for the honor and glory of God, sometimes it can be difficult to find the time in one’s schedule.

Lauren Hogan, junior psychology major, has served at First Baptist Church of Norco since September 2013 by participating in the worship team.

“I have been blessed by the leadership,” Hogan said. “I have been able to learn from (them) and I am continually challenged by their wisdom to learn and seek knowledge.”

Through her time serving at church, Hogan said she learned to love the gospel deeply and understands the desire she has for it. She said she strives to serve her church joyfully and spread the gospel to places both near and far.

“I am thankful for my church and the opportunities in which I am able to serve the other members present at FBCN,” Hogan said. “Whether it be in music or other various needs.”

Marie King, senior psychology major, has served at Orangecrest Community Church in Riverside for two years.

“I am part of the First Impressions team,” King said. “Our responsibility is to assemble bulletins and distribute them, and also to create a warm, welcoming and memorable experience for everyone who comes to our church.”

King said she also serves at Calvary Presbyterian Church near Riverside City College feeding the homeless every Sunday and sometimes volunteers at another homeless ministry one day of the week.

“There are so many hurting people in our community,” King said. “(Jesus) calls us into community and to be a part of the body and serving is essential for anyone who is serious about God and their own spiritual growth.”

King said if she is serving on Sunday, she has to manage her time by doing homework on Saturdays and sometimes Friday afternoons, depending on her work schedule.

“I’ve learned a lot about sacrifice and time management,” King said. “Working with people who are different from you is sanctifying. I have learned the value of commitment and I see the joy and beauty of it.”

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