Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Happy Holidays (in the Park)!

Hey, friends! 

Since it's post-Thanksgiving and December 2nd, am I allowed to say "Merry Christmas"? I am SO looking forward to the Holiday season. I feel like we could all use some joy to finish out the year!

Holidays in the Park
In a typical school year, our staff puts together many events in a semester, including a Halloween party and a big end-of-semester Christmas party. Because of COVID, we have not been able to do any events, which has been a huge bummer! But, we decided that we would end the semester with a bang and put all the holidays into one party. This idea became, "Holidays in the Park"! We were outside the whole time, wore masks, and socially distanced at dinner. 
There were crafts like Halloween bingo and masquerade mask painting to get us into the spooky spirit (even though we did this event in November, lol.) 

We were at a beautiful park and planned a few different spiritual activities for people to choose from... taking a walk and talking to God, finding a quiet place and listening to a worship song, etc. 
After that, we had some organized games such as ultimate frisbee and spikeball. 

The last thing we did at the park was a "walk and talk" with someone from their Core (small group). 

From there we headed to the Northeast church, where we had some Thanksgiving dinner and participated in a thankfulness activity with those around us. 

After dinner, we had a Christmas worship devotional! We sang some silly songs like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", and then sang some more serious ones like "Silent Night", "O Come O Come, Emmanuel", etc. We took communion, and ended the night with sparklers for New Years! 

Overall, it was such a fun event for our students to go to. It was nice to be able to meet new people, play games, have a meal, and worship together in our larger community. It was safe, COVID friendly fun that left everyone feeling more full... physically and spiritually! 

I had written in my last blog about our annual "Keep FOCUS Growing" initiative. We received $46,000 in matching funds and had the actual giving day yesterday. WOW! We were blown away by everyone's generosity! We raised over $35,000 so far, which brings us to over $90,000 with the matching funds and our student giving total. If you have given, THANK YOU! If you haven't given and would like to, let me know and I can help you out!

That's all for this month. Please pray that our students will finish their semester well with take-home finals and that we as a staff will finish the semester strong with them!
Praying that you all have a safe holiday with your families!