Every so often something happens that confirms my decision to retire two years ago. Today was one of those occasions. Park church sponsored its first annual "I Am Free" event which included worship in the village commons, a chicken BBQ, backpacks filled with school supplies for the kids, back to school haircuts, a dunking booth, face painting and games for the kids, a classic car show, a $20 clothes voucher at Old Navy, all of it absolutely free. It took an enormous amount of work in planning and execution, most of which I had nothing to do with. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have thought of it or would have thought it too much work and expense for the probable return. It's good for the next generation to take over and for me to be in a support role.
Thanks to pastor Joe's vision and compassion, and to so many Park church people who labored for months behind the scenes, the event was a huge success, with over 450 dinners given out, nearly 300 backpacks with school supplies, scores of haircuts, and a park full of people blessed by the generosity of our people and the love of Christ. I am grateful tonight for a new generation of people who have caught the vision to reach our community for Christ and are engaging in innovative ways of proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed.