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By Miriam Raftery

May 21, 2021 (Santee) -- Members of the Santee Interfaith Alliance came together on two weekends in April to help the Santee Christian Church repair and upgrade its parking lot.

“We became aware that one of our churches had a need to have extensive work done in their parking lot,” says Julie Harper, secretary of the Santee Interfaith Alliance, a group of faith leaders in Santee who meet monthly with the goal of building relationships and to serve our community.

“They had some money set aside for this purpose but their congregation was mostly elderly.  It was a struggle to get bids, and certainly to do any of the work required for this project.”

So in the Santee Interfaith Alliance’s monthly meetings, members  rallied around The Santee Christian Church and offered to help. 

“We could talk to neighbors with heavy equipment, we could arrange to come break up the existing asphalt and concrete, haul it away, and lay a cement slab for the dumpster area.  If we came together to work we could off-set the cost of this project for The Santee Christian Church and by so doing help to build bonds of friendship and understanding among community members who thought and worshipped differently than themselves. This would be an opportunity for unity in action,” Harper says.

Members of Carlton Hills Evangelical Lutheran Church, Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Guardian Angels Catholic Church, Santee United Methodist Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints agreed to participate.

“In a time when political and religious differences seem to make it impossible for neighbors to be very neighborly, we hope to send a message that love can reverse that trend,” Harper concludes.