Party In The Park
Sometimes we might overthink how to help those in our community- when the answer lies in simply asking, are there any holes we can fill? Our friends The Hallows Church did exactly that and share their story of loving their neighbors in Fremont...
When The Hallows Church first planted in the neighborhood of Fremont, we took a look around at all the activity that happens in Fremont—the Fremont Market, Solstice Parade, Fremont Fair, etc. What stood out was the lack of family-friendly events in our community. So in 2013, we started two events that would become staples of our summer activity, Play Dayz Sports and Rec Camp and Party in the Park.
Play Dayz was born from a desire to host a low-cost sports camp for the families of B.F. Day Elementary School. The leadership of the school loved the idea and helped us promote it within their channels of communication. We saw 12 kids that first year, and in successive years we have had the privilege of hosting upwards of 70 campers. Play Dayz is primarily a high-energy recreation based camp.
There are kids from a wide variety of backgrounds that attend and are drawn together for the three days of camp. But what I value the most as we host this annual camp is seeing the relationships of the parents grow. We have had parents connecting and having Christ-centered conversations that explore who Jesus is. This year I had the opportunity to pray over a family, who doesn’t know Jesus, but was reaching out for help in the midst of their pain. Yes, we serve the kids, and have so much fun throwing water balloons, doing relays and playing tug-o-war, but most importantly we are seeing The Lord move in the lives of people and softening their hearts toward conversations about the gospel.
The second summer event we host is Party in the Park. Since we didn't observe many family-friendly events we decided to throw a party to give an opportunity for the community to be a community. We rent out the B.F. Day Playfield (the same place we host Play Dayz), rent a couple of bouncers from our church’s network, set up a grill, and ask the community to bring a side to share. There is a raffle where people fill out a survey answering questions about how the church can better serve the neighborhood, what they identify as the biggest needs in our community, and what they believe about Jesus. Donations from local businesses are then given away as we draw names from the surveys. A volleyball net is set up and a game always seems to break out which draws people together from the community. It has been such a blessing to serve a need in our neighborhood that has been lacking for a long time. We get to meet individuals from all different backgrounds and faiths, and demonstrate the love we have for God and for people.
The Hallows Church Fremont