This Saturday, we are going to love our neighbors, right in our neighborhood. That’s what our Fall Festival coordinator Kim Wilkinson has said all along. And that is exactly what we are going to do.  

Unless you’ve been traveling the world these past weeks, you surely have heard us talking about the Fall Festival on Fifth this Saturday! Born as an idea from the Outreach Ministry Team who is taking the lead on encouraging our church to tell broadly the story of God’s work of Love here at 501 West Fifth, the Fall Festival will be a first for us. You might remember that in past years, we’d gathered to share in fall festivities in our gym, its walls lined colorfully with children’s artwork and a cakewalk that was a favorite of many. This year, we’re expanding. We’re moving outside. We’ve extended a broad invitation to the community all around us. And we’re going to celebrate not just a fun day for us, but the love we hold and share with our neighbors!

At this point, the signs have been hung. The Facebook ads have been created. The bouncy house is en route. The homemade barbecue has been made. The game prizes and giveaways are ready. The hay bales and leaves and gourds of all kinds await their final placement. The rain plan has been created (but surely won’t be needed, right?!). Volunteers have lovingly stepped forward and still do so even today! 

All that’s left is to love our neighbors. To welcome them to our church house. To extend our hospitality as deep and wide as we can. To bless animals and laugh with children. To gather around the table with music ringing in our ears. To delight in an opportunity — after so many hard and holy moments in our building project — to play together and simply have fun. To revel in God’s glorious creation that surrounds us during the fall season. To tell again and again the story of God’s work of Love in our midst, and our dream of being “a community in the heart of the city called by Jesus to practice bold love of God and neighbor and boundless compassion for all people.” To bear witness to Hope that persists in despair, Peace that binds us up, Joy that pierces the darkness, and Love that wins every single time.

I hope that you’ve made your plans to come. But more than that, I hope you’ve extended an invitation to friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, gym buddies, book club members, teammates to join us too!

Let’s ready ourselves to love!

Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily

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