Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall Festival

One of the things churches do is fundraising. Maybe not as much as the schools, but we do quite a lot.

One of our biggest and most exciting is happening today. The Fall Foliage Festival. 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It's jam-packed with vendors, petting zoo, classy tea room, food, food, food (hey, we're a church. We eat.) and entertainment. Who could ask for more, right? So, if you're not doing anything, come join us.

I've been up for a while listening to the rain, wondering if it'll mess up the festival, a large portion of which is outside. At about 11:30 PM, the really big storm roared through. I lay in bed wondering if the big tent we set up would still be standing. I will just assume. I lay in bed wondering if any tree branches would be down. I lay in bed wondering if the rain would ever stop.

Finally, I couldn't lie in bed any longer, so here I am. The rain has stopped, and in two hours vendors will start arriving to set up. This is going to be one very long day. But I also think it's going to be a fantastic day for the congregation and, I hope, the community.

Our parishioners have gone out of their way to make our home a hospitable place for their guests. They are even giving tours of the church and graveyard (there are some well-known folks in it). And of course, we are providing all sorts of informational literature about the church, our nursery school and our labyrinth (which we naturally invite people to use).

What I like about this particular festival is that it all stems from one person's desire to do something big but also a willingness to do the work. So often people say, "Wouldn't it be nice if we did X?" What they mean is, "Wouldn't it be nice if YOU did X?" Not this time. That person came up and said, "I have an idea, and if you let me, I'll see it through." You have no idea how good that feels.

The other thing I like is, it gets a whole lot of people involved, gets the community into our facility, and possibly even raises some money.

This sort of fundraiser isn't all that churches are about even if is feels like it some times. But it's nice when we can combine fundraising with fun and community. This is our first one of this sort in many years – but I think it won't be the last.