by Dale Reeves
Yesterday at Christ’s Church was a great day. I broke bread with all the people in our church who came to our Sunday morning worship experience. We broke bread as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper together, giving God thanks for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and the groundbreaking event that his crucifixion and resurrection were. I also broke bread with our lead pastor, Trevor DeVage, as he brought me a slice of pepperoni pizza from Big Dog’s Pizza that was parked outside on our lawn. I was giving the announcements from stage when Trevor walked out with a delicious piping-hot slice of pepperoni and cheese goodness as we whetted the appetite of those gathered for worship yesterday. Then Trevor preached the last sermon in our current sermon series called, “Breaking Bad”—not to be confused with Breaking Bread.
Then after our two worship services we enjoyed our second installment of 4th Sunday Food Truck Fun-Days outside on the lawn, a brainstorm that originated in the mind of the wife of one of our elders. Katie Davis started thinking, Last year when COVID hit, the world shut down and everything got weird. As time went on last year, more and more people got comfortable doing church in their pajamas and in the comfort of their own homes. But, due to the isolation that many people felt, anxiety and loneliness are at an all-time high. Katie had been thinking about how we are always talking about inviting our “ONE’s” back to the church building, but she felt like a number of people have been hesitant to do so, based on their own comfortableness—or lack of it—and the feelings of their ONE’s as well. Katie asked herself a few questions like these:
“What is something exciting that could be offered as a little incentive to come to church?”
“How can we support in a practical way both our congregation and our local community?”
Potluck Meals and Food Trucks
The answer to the dilemma surfaced as she thought about it some more. An outside event that helps get people back on the church property, and hopefully back in the church building where they can have the full experience of worship together with others and fellowship as a body. What is the modern equivalent of the potluck meals that used to take place in church fellowship halls? FOOD TRUCKS! Yes, that’s it. FOOD TRUCKS!!
So, an idea was birthed. As several people got involved in the planning of Christ’s Church Food Truck Fun-Days, a number of “wins” emerged:
- Anyone who still had concerns regarding the COVID virus would feel more comfortable with an outside event.
- This would be a great opportunity to live out Christ’s Church’s P.I.E. mission (praying for, inviting, and seeking to engage our ONE’s), where people could start building relationships with others in the church.
- We would be supporting small businesses in our community.
- We would be providing fun, family-friendly events once a month on our church property.
- This would be a great opportunity for new members of our church to get to know others in the body of Christ, build relationships, and provide bridges to getting connected in the church in various ways.
- We would also pay it forward by selling T-shirts at these events, in which the profits would go to help fund the Mason Food Pantry, a great nonprofit that helps provide food to those in need in our local community.
Community Begins Here
God brought together a team of committed people to pray and plan for the Fun-Days. These include:
- Marketing coordinators: Nick and Karen Salyers, Brian Douglas
- Facilities coordinator: Sarah Dunaway
- Family Engagement coordinator: Robin Sheehan
- Volunteer coordinator: Missy Kowitz
- Food Truck coordinator: Brian Boroff
One of the team members, Karen Salyers, explains, “I am excited about these events because it is something our whole church can look forward to and plan around. Last month we invited our neighbors and although it was hot, it was so nice to have them hanging out with us on the church grounds. Our whole congregation can use these events to come back together and step up the ‘in person community feel’ that COVID so rapidly depleted.” Karen continues, “I have heard some people say that they are looking forward to a slower Sunday where they don’t have to rush out after service to feed their families. They can take their time and stay on campus to continue conversations about the sermon, their weekend, or their recent vacation. The 4th Sunday Food Truck Fun-Day allows space for relationships to form, deepen, or simply start over after a very trying year. We’re so glad we have this opportunity to invite community to begin here!”
Yesterday, in addition to the pizza, people could choose from these food options: Nacho Average Tacos, Stellar Street Eats, and Chill Out Italian Ice. I went with the teriyaki chicken wings from Big Dog’s, followed by the all-American colors of red, white, and blue Italian ice. Both choices were excellent, as well as the conversation I had with others while in line and then subsequently eating under the big tent. We offered $10 vouchers good at any of the four food trucks for anyone who was a first-time guest. Pop music was playing as people exited the church building after service or joined us on the lawn after parking their cars. And, to keep the kids entertained, we had a couple of inflatable bounce houses.
Taste and See
Brian Boroff has been coming to our church for less than a year. He and his family first started attending during our “Dangerous Prayers” sermon series in November 2020. Brian is on the food truck event team and his task is to coordinate the specific food trucks that will be on our property at each of the six Fun-Days. Brian comments, “I got involved in this team because I want to help bring the community in so that they feel comfortable in this place. Even if people don’t come to church, I want them to have a positive experience on our property so that the next time they think about going to a church, or have a need, I want this church to be the first place they think about attending.”
If you missed out on the first two of our 4th Sunday Food Truck Fun-Days, have no fear, there are still four more of the events to come. They will take place on July 25, August 22, September 26, and October 24 from 11 am–2 pm. So, you’ve got some time to think about who you might want to invite to break bread with you on those days. Put it on your calendar now.
“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him” (Psalm 34:8, The Message).