Church on Congress Avenue-Day 5

Well, well, well, we made it! Today’s the last day! While I’m sad that I will no longer be able to write this blog, it amazes me just how much we got done this week. Our marketing team left with a new completed website, the painting team completely finished, the VBS team with beautiful sets, and the power washing and steam cleaning teams finally finished.

Today, all we had to do was wrap up the loose ends of the tasks we had yet to complete. Our entire team shared the love as we took turns doing one task after the other, as none of these jobs really fell perfectly under our required mini categories.

Power washing was finished this morning as one group set up a bouncy castle for an upcoming event this weekend. Other groups cut out more flyers in the office as the marketing team wrapped up on the website.

Certain groups were sent to the back of the sanctuary to clean toilets and bathrooms that hadn’t been used in a while. (And let me tell you, those stains did not come off easy.) During that time, others were hosing down and thoroughly washing tables which were later dried and then disinfected.

Overall, we got an immense amount of work done in a short amount of time, saying we weren’t even there for full days like other GoWeek teams. We couldn’t have done it without your support and prayers and without each other too. (And maybe snack breaks, if I could add it as an honorable mention.)

Thank you for following along on this fun trip with me this week. It’s really been an honor to write.

Hope to see ya on the blog next year!

Lauryn Ward


The Church on Congress-Day 4

It is with great pride that I may write that as a team we have already finished a majority if not almost all of our projects! Of course, this achievement could not have been completed without vigorous work and coordination.

My apologies to the marketing team, as I have seemed to have forgotten them in my rundown of the teams. (Must’ve gotten hit too hard in the head with the VBS tree branches!) The marketing team has been hard at work revamping the church’s website, even interviewing the pastor for it. To see the work they are doing you can check it out at:

With this new day comes a new scramble of jobs as we try to wrap up what’s left of our list of things to do. Those who were power washing kept on it today, with a little bit of work left to do tomorrow. The steam cleaner itself happened to malfunction so our quest for steam cleaning all the chairs has been stopped until further notice.

Those who were painting have mainly completed the entire upstairs area! This job took a whole lot of effort and time from multiple members of our group, and having it done is quite the relief to all of us. (Except for cleaning all those paintbrushes, that took way too much time!)

The crew working on the VBS sets managed to complete both the tree and the waterfall today! (Despite having to restart the waterfall right before lunch.) I don’t think any of us want to use masking tape for a major project again, but we got our job done and are excited for what we’ll be working on tomorrow.

Finally, a group went out today to pass out flyers for the church advertising for VBS. This allowed our team to get a better glimpse into the surrounding community and form relationships as students of Hyde Park Schools.

Today’s work seemed impossible at the start, yet we came out on top. It amazes me how powerful we are as a team! As we’re wrapping up here at Congress Avenue, I thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, and ask for one for day of them!

I’ll see ya tomorrow!

Lauryn Ward

The Church on Congress – Day 3

With every day here at South Congress comes new experiences, more hard work, and more jobs completed. As a team, our ultimate goal is to finish all of our jobs as efficiently and as quickly as possible. And today? We did just that.

For the first half of the morning, our groups tackled steam cleaning and power washing again, as more chairs were brought forward and more areas were found to be cleaned. In fact, we are power washing certain areas of the building in order to paint there!

My team that was working on the VBS set faced considerable challenges this morning as our equipment dwindled down to a handsaw, a half-dead drill, and a staple gun that proceeded to break in half. Yet, with perseverance we made a significant amount of progress before convening for lunch.

After lunch, we held a team meeting where it was decided that a majority of the group would work solely on painting in order to knock out that job and free some hands to help other groups. With these orders, we broke off to start work again, further determined to get the job done.

The VBS team and I tackled some of our larger problems today as we came up with new ways of securing various materials. A lot of improvisation as used to complete the base of our tree, yet we are all proud of our results.

With the exceptional pace our group is working at, I have no doubt that we’ll finish all of our tasks on time, or dare I say it, early!  I’m awfully proud of our team and all the hard work we’ve done.

Keep our team in your prayers that we may be energized and ready for these last two days!

See you tomorrow,

Lauryn Ward

The Church on Congress Avenue- Day 2

If yesterday’s work wasn’t vigorous enough, today’s surely was! On our second day here at South Congress, we continued on where we left off yesterday. Many teams repeated their previous jobs, yet covered larger surface areas! Working as a team, we made an efficient effort to clear out some of our larger tasks.

The team of boys power washing continued today, their enthusiasm for this chore never-ceasing. They will continue tomorrow on the breezeway, windows, and nursery areas. (And for that, they are quite excited.) Another team that continues from yesterday is those who were steam cleaning, who somehow miraculously cleaned more chairs than yesterday!

Our painting team has also continued their work in the upstairs area. This team, led by Mr. Ruffin, has been hard at work so much to the point we hardly see them downstairs! The area they’re covering is massive, requiring lots of determination and perseverance.

There was a new group set to the task of cutting out 1,ooo VBS flyers today, and every time I saw them, there was a larger stack of flyers. How they don’t get tired of it at some point is beyond me.

My group worked on a more creative project. We were simply given a packet of instructions and almost all the materials we needed to build a ten foot tall tree and an eight foot tall waterfall. Our only problem was we lacked all of the power tools that the makers of the instructions had. So, with a hand saw, a cake knife, and sheer determination, we managed to build our bases and skeleton work. (Without any chemical burns or physical injuries!)

Overall, today was filled with hard work, but thanks to us working in an organized manner, we made a lot of progress. Without each other, there would be no way to get this massive of a job done. Most importantly, without God it would be impossible to tackle such a task.

I can’t wait to tell you all about what tomorrow brings!

Lauryn Ward

Introduction/The Church on Congress – Day One

Hello everyone! I’m Lauryn Ward, and I’ll be the blog writer for this week’s Congress Avenue Church group. I apologize for the late start, but I promise by the end of this post you will be all caught up!

My team and I have been split up into a couple of groups to better tackle all the jobs we have at hand. Some jobs required for strength and endurance, while others required a little bit more patience and cautiousness. For example, we have one group of boys solely dedicated to power washing the sidewalks outside and another to painting a children’s nursery in the upper floor of the church. In the fellowship hall, members of our group steam cleaned chairs.

On the more patience related jobs, we have a marketing team working close with the pastor of South Congress Church to better improve their website and online advertising as other talented members of our digital media team worked on VBS handouts and fought printers. (It’s okay, we won against the printer.) There was also a second team whose main goal was to cut, laminate, hole-punch, and hang over 200 lanyards for this VBS and fill over 900 Easter eggs.

The church’s VBS theme this year is called “Roar!” and follows a very Lion Kind-esque style. Throughout the week, we will be continuing to aid the Children’s Ministry crew by setting up and building key stage pieces, making and distributing flyers, and getting the word out into the city with new and improved media.

Can’t wait to show you all the tasks we’ve completed as the week progresses!


Lauryn Ward

Day One – The Church on Congress

Day One at The Church on Congress- March 11 – By Brynn McGrath
Today we all woke up and were ready to work! We all met at the Church around 9 a.m. and we went straight to our duties. We all have different assignments for the week, but some of us rotated and helped others. Right when we got there Lily, William, Justin and I unloaded the van that had a bunch of supplies that we used.
Lydia, Olivia, Lauryn and Ariana went straight to work and worked together and filled Easter eggs and made preparations for VBS.
Boe and Omari did an amazing job power washing the concrete all day. Boe made sure to make it a good time by singing and talking to the people that were walking down Congress. He loved the power washer and found it very satisfying.
Harrison, Cailyr, Chase, Ryan, and Mr. Ruffin tore down the wall paper and started to repaint the nursery room.
Braeden, Braden, William and Justin cleaned and raked piles of leaves and tried to work the RugDoctor to steam clean the chairs without a lot of luck.
Lily and I started to redesign the website for the church, and we got to meet Pastor George and interview him. We learned a lot about the church and the history of the church.
Peyton did an amazing job of creating products for VBS, and worked with the coordinators for the church to make sure that it was exactly what they wanted.
Around noon we took a lunch break, some of us walked over to Home Slice and ate some yummy pizza. Some of the boys got to meet Seth Rogen. They were all very excited about that; they ran back inside to tell the news to everyone.
Braden and I filled many bags of leaves that the boys raked, and carried those heavy things to the dumpster. Mrs. Becak, Hayes and I cleaned some of the dirtiest windows and there were hundreds. Mrs. Becak and Braeden really loved spraying the windows, and made sure to spray the high ones, which I could not reach because I’m 5’1’’…We got a lot of our jobs done and we all had so much fun doing it all together. We are ready to go back and keep working on our assignments so that we can help the Church become a healthier environment for the people who attend the services, bible studies and more!


The Church on Congress Avenue

Congress Avenue Church copy

Front Row: Dixie McGrath, Lily Bachler, Brynn McGrath, Cailyr Mertz, Peyton Webster, Ariana Estrada, Lydia Pergande, Olivia Speltz, Lauryn Ward. Row 2: William Biggar, Braden Smith, Braeden Burgess, Boe Thompson, Omari Thomas, Harrison Lankford, Ryan Duke, Justin Ha, Chase Davis, Hayes Gauthreaux, Renee Becak.