Story Saturday: Summer Festival

This past Sunday we had our third Summer Festival.  It was a tremendous time. We didn’t do an official head count, but based upon our best guesstimates we had between 1,200-1,500 come through during the course of the day.  Those are incredible numbers. Our rep from the Parks and Recreation department said he had never seen another event with so many people at the park in his 30 plus years of working there.

It is not about the numbers though.  It is about what those numbers represent.  Those numbers represent people. They represent our neighbors, our mission field.  Some are friends we have known for years. Others are people that we just met. Each is an eternal soul in need of God’s love.  We don’t do this event to try to preach at people. There is a place for preaching, but why we do this is because we want to, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Mat 5:16 ESV)  We do this event because we want to be known as a church that does good works for our community. Whether people believe like we do or not, we want them to be grateful that we are here and hopefully that will lead to further spiritual conversations. We don’t do many events as a church, because we want to keep people free to spend time with their neighbors.  However, we do have this strategic event to make a loud statement of our intention to be FOR our community.

An event like this is no small feat.  It takes a ton of people to pull it off.  Here are the saints who joyfully sacrificed their time and served our neighbors with joy;

  • Hannah Salmon
  • Jon Mayse
  • Michael Bernardo
  • Robert Pino
  • Rose Wortman
  • Sarah Miner
  • Sherill Beatty
  • Lexi Beatty
  • Jim Beatty
  • Elise Neumann
  • Eric Neumann
  • Joe Catoe
  • Kristen Catoe
  • Julie Mattaliano
  • Tim Mattalinao
  • Nick Walker
  • Ali Walker
  • Todd Shade
  • Dorothy Tomaino
  • Charlie Tomaino
  • Karen Gregory
  • Steve Gregoy
  • Steven Gregory
  • Mickey Gregory
  • Chris King
  • Georgina Norrs
  • Ben Norris
  • Rebecca Julie
  • Jeremy Julien
  • Vikki Cooper
  • Rob Finizio
  • Eassa Faheem
  • Jennifer Faheem
  • Arlene Zavala
  • Elaine Dennis
  • Gus Bottiglieri
  • Phyllis Bottiglieri
  • Matt Slingerland
  • Jess Slingerland
  • Isabelle Slingerland
  • Jenna Slingerland
  • John Carlson
  • Josh Nussbaum
  • Rebekah Nussbaum
  • Nick Tedeschi
  • Dottie Latrella
  • Henry Brenes

Special shout out to our kid’s band who made their first live concert debut:  Matt Magitz and Angie Boettcher. They practice for hours and hours and I know I’m biased, but I think they did a phenomenal job.  If this whole pastoring thing doesn’t work out for me, having Angie become a professional kid’s entertainer is now my backup plan.

We had a fantastic event planning committee that put in dozens of hours.  Huge thanks to Bekah Nussbaum, Elise Neumann, Julie Mattaliano, Nick Walker and Jon Mayse.

Finally, all of this was coordinated by the leadership of Joe Catoe.  I am very grateful for his servant’s heart, consistent encouragement and tireless work ethic.  This is a huge undertaking and he does it with joy.

We already had several couples visit our church as a result of this event.  However, whether this event leads people to come to our church or try visiting another church, our hope is that this event would change the grid through which they view church and open them up to rethinking how God might want to meet them through His church.  

Grace and peace,

Pastor Jeff