So, it's been a little bit since our last update, but we've been having some great moments with Mountainside family, and connecting with others in the public spaces of Boone! Thank you, everyone, for praying for no rain on June 28th at our Movie in the Park night! It was a great evening as our two small groups joined together for a picnic and reconnected and then welcomed people from Boone to watch "Princess Bride" with us! There were around 70 people who came and joined us for a cool mountain evening outdoors. We met some new friends who then joined us on Sunday morning. Our friendships at Mountainside continue to grow as we spend more time together--not just in worship or small groups, but as we work together and keep an extended hand to others.
We also had a lot of fun entering the 4th of July parade, again--only this time we had the Mountainside band playing live music from the back of a trailer! We handed out frisbees and candy (with some invites to Sunday and the next Movie in the Park". It is always great to be a part of what the community of Boone is doing. The police, fire department, boy scouts, cloggers, dojo kids, political candidates--many others were there--so it seemed like a good idea for the church to be there too!
We finished the 4th of July by setting up a tent in the park (where people gathered for the town fireworks display) and gave away free watermelon and hot dogs. We met some new people and reconnected with others we hadn't seen in a while. Sherri still beat all the kids at jump rope games, and the guys were challenging others to corn hole. So, why do we do all these things? These spaces and events are the "public spaces" instead of "private places" where everyone is welcomed. Homes are private spaces; businesses are semi-public (no loitering); parks and streets are public. It's okay to loiter in the park--it's what it's made for! So, when we meet in these type of public spaces and events, we are engaging with the community instead of hiding from the community. Instead of crossed arms, it's open arms--or at least an extended hand. Churches have become known for what they are against. This is one more way for us to say what we are for--we are for Boone! We are for Boone, because God made it clear He is for all of us: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). I suppose if you can't humble yourself to see yourself in the 'sinner' category, then this is meaningless. But I believe we all fall into the 'sinner' category, and so this statement is good news for each of us that God is for us!