Summer officially begins on Friday, the 21st. It has been wrestling with a very rainy Spring for weeks. Saturday, I went to the Asian Festival in downtown Grand Rapids. Although the sky was gray and rain was threatening, the plaza at Rosa Parks Circle was full of people who were enjoying the food, music and just being outside.
Summer is the season of picnics, concerts in the park, backyard cookouts, long walks, longer bike rides, and of course fireworks. Little league sports are in full swing, pun intended. Summer is also an opportunity to meet new people while we are attending some of the events which are happening in our neighborhoods.
Is it possible for your church to set up a lemonade stand, near a park or playground? Can you bring water or snacks to the kids on the field or their parents in the stands? Could you hold a service outside at a nearby park or on the lawn of the church? Could you put up a tent in the parking lot and invite the people in your neighborhood over for a movie projected on the church wall? Have you planted a community garden? Are you showing the next generation how to grow fruits and vegetables?
And of course, Summer isn’t Summer without a road trip or two. Could your church offer a scholarship for one of the United Methodist camps? Or maybe even help with the cost of a trip to Michigan’s Adventure or Cedar Point? Look around your neighborhood, and even the town, village or city of your church, what activities are happening there this Summer? How can your church be a part of them? The possibilities are endless. Remember our mission is to go and make disciples of all nations. What better place to start, than in the world just outside our buildings. And Amen.