The following is an account of my day and a few of the thoughts I had a long the way. I'm calling them "realizations" they might actually be "revelations" or just "I already knew that why am I just putting it to words now." And I admit a few are "Why am I surprised by this, it happens every time?" So here goes:
Today was my church's fifth annual "Family Fun Fall Festival," which in my biased opinion was a hit. It happened between 2-4pm. This year we used Groups' "Slime Time" theme kit. Overall it was good but I think we'll go back to planning our own themes. There was also Valley Youth Leaders Prayer and an RITV planning meeting this morning, which brings us to our first realizations:
Realization 1: You can not arrive at your destination (New Minas Baptist Church) in another town at 9:00am if you leave your location (New Hope Wesleyan Church) 9:00am. I know this...why do I never seem to remember it?
Realization 2: The things that denominational lines "divided" Christians are not as important or as big as what unites us.
Realization 3: Prayer works...this is less a realization than (ah I can't put it into words). On my craziest day with too little sleep and a long to do list ahead of me the "logical" thing to do would be to skip prayer and just work. But I went and God used it to reset my head and everything still got done and I was in a better heart-place to do it.
Realization 4: It is possible to have quick meetings. We were done in 21 minutes.
After the prayer and meeting there 3 hours and 30 minutes till Slime Time and what felt like more to do that time to do it in. There were some low moments when I doubted if everything would get done...or if any volunteers would show up. Each time my thoughts started going down the gloomy path of "this will be an utter failure" God brought someone to help. Three cheers for people who show up early willing to do anything to help and those who call to see if there is anything still needed. Slime Time would not have happened with out these people.
Realization 5: Ministry is about people and people need to be involved in the ministry especially something like this.
Realization 6: I can't do it all on my own.
Realization 7: People want to help they just need to be asked specifically and to feel it's important.
The previous three years we've done a trunk or treat. I know Halloween can be a heated debate. I really like what my friend Jon Dixion wrote about his families reasons for avoiding the experience (and it's not because the history is pure evil...read it). I love trunk or treat because it provides a safe, friendly, environment without a fear for families to collect treats and have a positive experience with our church. We had our event today instead of tomorrow because of time restraints. To do our event well, we knew there would not have been enough time after the Sunday morning service to set up, have the event, and clean up before our Celebrate Recovery group meets.
I know people were disappointed it wasn't trunk or treat. But I think today went really well maybe eve better than last year. At one point someone asked me how it was going and I looked around the room, I didn't recognize over half of the people. I think that's a good thing. I know it's not about numbers but number can help evaluate success.
My 1st goal this year was to kids from our church invite their friends. One boy invited 8 of his classmates. Another family brought three friends. We had 16 groups/families register. 10 were from our church 6 weren't, 3 of those did not have a church family. Of the ten New Hope families 4 brought friends with them (I know a few of the 6 had plans to meet up with friends at the church).
My 2nd goal this year was to have 30 children participate. I prepared for 35. The number might seem low but I knew it was a Saturday and families are very busy. Three of our core church families told me ahead of time they wouldn't be here. I also knew we wouldn't get the through traffic that Trunk or Treat brings in. People actually had to make a choice to come today. We average 28 kids on Sunday so I guessed that 35 might come. By registration forms there were 36 children (16 not from our church). But I am not sure how accurate that count is. We gave away more than 48 treat bags -one per child and only a few maybe 8 or less had to be replaced (someone always loses there treat bag).
Realization 8: God's plans are bigger than mine. I need to remember that next year when planning this.
Realization 9: Many hands makes clean up super fast. It took three days to set up. We were done clean up in under two hours.
Realization 10: Cardboard inflicted paper cuts really really hurt.
I apologize for the post length. I wouldn't have read it so if you have thank you; writing it has helped me process the day. Thank you for your patience. I am truly sorry for all typos, spelling mistakes, grammar errors and the sentences that just don't make sense. I know they're there. Even with proof reading I know I've miss a lot. Goodnight.
NaNoWriMo is just one day away!