Four Delaware churches will team up for community service Aug. 26 in lieu of Sunday-morning services.

They are Terra Nova Community Church, 425 S. Sandusky St. Suite 3; Highpoint Nazarene Church, 795 Pollock Road; Berachah Church, 2440 U.S. Route 23 N.; and New Beginnings United Methodist Church, 385 E. William St.

Terra Nova pastor the Rev. Jason Allison said the four churches are in frequent contact and encourage each other.

"We've seen other churches do similar things (and) started brainstorming 'What would it look like?' " he said.

The churches decided to hold the event "to show God's love in practical ways."

He said the list of service projects still was taking shape last week, but the congregations expect to participate in these events:

* A car wash at Berachah Church.

* Installation of the playing surface at basketball courts being built at Blue Limestone Park, 500 W. William St.

* Cleaning, weeding, mulching, painting and other chores at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in preparation for the county fair, Sept. 15-22.

* Working with Main Street Delaware to clean up sections of the downtown.

* Outdoor cleanup and landscaping at Family Promise, 39 N. Washington St.

* General cleanup and other projects at Common Ground Free Store, 193 E. Central Ave.

* Washing vehicles at the Delaware Police Department.

* Building two short retaining walls at Hayes High School to protect the track from mud and water runoff, as well as general grounds cleanup.

* Picking up trash at city parks.

* Assembling teacher-appreciation gift bags and notes to be distributed at Main Street Delaware's First Friday in September.

Allison said the projects will be conducted from 10:30 a.m. to noon, followed by lunch at New Beginnings.

Work on the new Blue Limestone basketball courts will be completed in cooperation with the Delaware Community Coalition and Delaware Parks and Recreation, Allison said.

He said the city has allocated $150,000 for the new courts and the concrete base has been poured.

The playing surface to be assembled consists of pieces to be linked together and adhered to the concrete.

One participant in the Delaware Community Coalition is city police Chief Bruce Pijanowski.

Coalition members inspected such a surface elsewhere during winter, he said, and it provided good traction when wiped clean of snow.

He said two full courts will be installed at Blue Limestone.

The coalition has been involved with the project for two years, he said, partnering with the city, churches, the YMCA and sports groups. The goal is to have courts "where everyone can stop in and play," he said.

The coalition was formed to improve community relations and well-being, which Pijanowski said "has been a great experience."

The group hopes to hold some events and expand its community presence, he said. It has been assisted by the Delaware General Health District and has partnered with the local group One People.

Dick Jackson, who is active with One People, said the group's goal is to "unite all the citizens of Delaware, working together to strengthen our community."

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