West Valley City • As Disciples of Christ, members of Granger Christian Church believe they have a responsibility to the wider community.
So on Saturday, they're hosting Project Cornucopia Promoting Community, a one-stop venue to match people with resources from the American Red Cross to Salt Lake County Aging Services to the Utah Food Bank.
The event is co-sponsored by the Granger LDS Stake and WestFest, the annual West Valley City celebration that commemorates the city's incorporation. Anyone in need of help, whether or not a member of the Disciples of Christ, is welcome.
"One of our goals is to reach out to everyone," the Rev. Vinnetta Golphin-Wilkerson said. "We're inviting everyone to come."
It's that commitment to serving the community, as well as her skills as a preacher, that led members of Granger Christian Church to select Golphin-Wilkerson as their pastor in spring 2011.
"She came to preach, and that's all it took," said member Linda Hayes.
Lydia Robinson was impressed by Golphin-Wilkerson's cover letter that talked about her community service and her views on worship, among other topics.
"She was passionate about the things we're passionate about," Robinson said.
Granger Christian Church, established in 1957, was the first Protestant church west of the Jordan River. It has been at its present location, 3232 W. 4100 South, for about five years. The members live all over the Salt Lake Valley, and the ethnically diverse congregation includes whites, blacks, Latinos, Cambodians, Tongans and American Indians.
Golphin-Wilkerson who has a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a master's from Emory University's Candler School of Theology worked as administrative pastor at God's City of Refuge Christian Church and served as a volunteer chaplain at Metro State Prison in Atlanta before coming to Utah.
Granger Christian has been a good fit for the pastor, according to Golphin-Wilkerson and members of the congregation. Sunday worship service generally draws about 80 attendees from across the Salt Lake Valley. Communion is open to everyone.
"Christ welcomes us all, and so do we," Golphin-Wilkerson said.
She feels "very, very blessed" to be at the church and excited about her work.
"Every day I wake up and I get to do something that I believe in, something that's important, something that brings me great joy," she recently told West Valley City Council members as she updated them on Project Cornucopia. "I get to serve the people of the Granger Church, and we have a commitment to community."
That commitment was emphasized at Sunday's service, which served as a commissioning service for the congregation as it prepares for Project Cornucopia.
The Rev. JosÃ© Morales Jr., the executive regional minister for the Central Rocky Mountain Region, who came from Denver for the service, noted the upcoming event and said Golphin-Wilkerson was calling church members to "transform your community."
"We've been given a great task to serve our community," he added.
Lay member Lee Esau, who helped lead the service, described the congregation's effort to help others as an act of faith. She said, "Project Cornucopia is at the core of our mission."
Community resources available
Granger Christian Church is hosting Project Cornucopia Promoting Community, which puts organizations providing help under one roof. These community groups will assist people with health, nutrition, employment and family concerns.
The event takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 3232 W. 4100 South in West Valley City. Park on the street or at the LDS church at 3200 West and 3900 South.
The church needs more canopies for the event, which is being held in the parking lot. Call 801-968-3301 if you can loan one for the day.
The Granger LDS Stake and WestFest are co-sponsoring the event.
Disciples of Christ
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was founded in the early 1800s in the United States. Its founders were seeking to move beyond denominational disagreements and envisioned a united church modeled on the New Testament.
Each congregation is self-governing and calls its own pastor. Worship services may be formal or informal and include lay women and men in leadership.
Granger Christian Church, 3232 W. 4100 South in West Valley City, holds worship services at 11 a.m. Sunday. Bible study is held at 9:30 a.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday. Call 801-968-3301 for more information.
Sources: Communication Ministries Christian Church and Granger Christian Church.