Story and photos submitted by the Rev. Barbara Johns-Schleicher
Pastor at Lamar United Methodist Church, Lamar, Colorado
Lamar United Methodist Church's Whole Church Initiative (WCI) team planned an outdoor Fall Festival from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16, to invite our neighborhood families of several different cultures to continue building friendly relationships. We modified our original summer plan into a Fall Festival and prayed for good weather in October!
It was awesome and amazing to have so many neighborhood families with young children come to have fun! Although we only were able to have six of our own children and youth come, the numbers of the invited who came were well over 35 children plus their parents and grandparents.
It was located on our church parking lot across the street from the neighborhood's favorite small grocery store. We involved the whole church congregation in setting up the autumn leaves, friendly scarecrows, bales of straw, corn stalks and bunches of pumpkins. Free grilled hot dog lunches and drinks plus free games with candy treats and little prizes, art activities and a large colorful parachute for games were all set and ready. We also had a 30-foot cloth labyrinth for walking prayers with "Give Thanks" leaves to add to a branch/tree in the center.
Our earlier outdoor worship service was also attended by some who came early for the festival and guitar music and singers continued throughout the event. Pumpkins were given to the families to take home. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon enjoyed by all of us. Thank you, God!