Sterling College puts on Event ‘Love Sterling’

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Saturday, April 30th, nearly 200 Sterling College students, faculty and staff and community members – ranging in age from elementary children to grandparents—joined together to serve the town of Sterling, Kan., by participating in the event “Love Sterling,” a town wide service day. The president of Love Sterling, sophomore Nathan Lusk, and a leadership team of students advised by Joellen Maurer, had been planning the event since the Fall of 2010.

This was the second annual Love Sterling event. This year, with the encouragement of Rod Willis, Sterling’s city manager, the focus of Love Sterling was expanded to include those in the town who cannot do for themselves the work that they need done and also the businesses of Main Street. There were about 25 projects total, large and small, that took place around town. Some of these projects included painting downtown buildings, working in the Shay Building, yard work, painting and organizing the Sterling Food Bank, landscaping and painting at the Presbyterian Manor, organizing and shelving books in the Sterling Public Library, cleaning the Sterling cemetery chapel, and helping out two churches in town with projects.

Overall, Love Sterling was a community effort with an estimated 1,500 man hours being given over the course of the day. "I was so impressed with our students,” said Joellen Maurer, advisor to Love Sterling and wife of Sterling College President Dr. Maurer. “They served joyfully and without complaint. I was blessed to be able to visit most of the projects and even if they were up to their elbows in paint, dust, or leaves they worked hard and got the job done. Many of the students worked for eight hours straight.”

Love Sterling is an attempt to fulfill the vision for Sterling College “to be recognized as the finest Christ-centered, servant leadership development-focused, liberal arts experience in the Great Plains.”

“Servant leadership is simply serving as Christ served—joyfully, humbly, and intentionally. The students and community members who showed up on April 30th to participate in Love Sterling did just that. They served each other, their community, and their God,” said J. Maurer.

Many people contributed to the success of Love Sterling. “10:31 Ministries”, headed by Sterling College student, Jon Faulkner, donated money to help with the t-shirts that were designed by Kaitie Turner, another Sterling College student. Stutzman Refuse Disposal donated dumpsters around town to help collect trash, Home Lumber helped provide needed supplies, and community members stepped forward to offer help in whatever way needed.

“I was utterly delighted with how Love Sterling went this year,” said SC Campus Chaplain Rev. Anne Smith. "The projects went off without a hitch, great work was done in the name of love, and our students outdid themselves. I’m so glad to see that Love Sterling was not just a onetime flash in the pan, but an enduring legacy to Servant Leadership.”