Greetings my friends,
Last Saturday, we held our 14th annual Winterfest event. This is always a great opportunity for us to share the love and grace of Christ with the people of this community. Our entire grass lot is covered with all sorts of food tents, rides, and an ice slide. You could come and climb a rock wall, jump in a bounce house, eat fried dough, cotton candy, kettle corn, and hot dogs, drink a cool bottle of water or soda, you could get a snow cone, sample several different kinds of chili in our Chili Cook-off Competition, listen to a variety of local musical ensembles from our area elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as our very own 9Thirty Band, and travel down a slide made of ice. We also had balloon animals from a troupe of clowns, caricatures from one of our very talented church members, a prize tent where you could win prizes, we offered a bicycle give away, and had a place where people could receive prayer and be prayed over. And in our Family Life Center, we had a bingo game for prizes as well and offered haircuts to children under 12 years of age. All of this was offered for free to the over 3,000 people who came.
An event like this takes many things. It takes copious amounts of prayer. It requires extremely generous donations from the congregation. It depends on a tremendous number of volunteers from the church and community around us. It requires a significant amount of planning and training. And most of all it needs the divine hand of God.
My friends, the stories I heard, the people I spoke to, the joy that I witnessed, all pointed me back to that hand of God. It was there…God was there. In our midst, on our campus, and moving through the crowds, God was there. Painting smiles on faces, offering joy to those gathered, bringing an air of happiness over the whole event. One of the things that were affirmed for me over and over again on Saturday, was the importance of this event, of this work, and of how we as a church approach it.
The crowd, the families, the people could feel that this place – this event – was different. It was special. They felt safe, they felt loved, and that allowed them to open themselves up, have fun, and create extraordinary memories. This all happened because of how we approached this event. Because you believed in this event, prayed for this event, and supported this event – it was special. Because you volunteered with a joyous spirit and kind heart – it was special. Because you allowed the love of Christ to flow in you, through you, and be shared with others by you – it was special.
I am always left in awe by Winterfest and how God meets people in the midst of it. I am always left grateful by how generously this church supports it. I am always left humbled to know we were all in the midst of the Holy Spirit’s presence during it.
Winterfest is very much a labor of love, but something that is well worth the effort. I thank you for your support of it, your willingness to share God’s love through it, and I look forward with great anticipation to what God will do through Winterfest next year.
Have a great week!