On the last Sunday of July, Grace, Muskogee held its first ever, “Very Big Slide” event.
This was a street fair/block party style community outreach event designed to replace the traditional VBS and provide a day of family fun and community building. The event lasted a few hours and included lots of fun things to do!
Sixth street, the street directly in front of the church, was closed for the two blocks between Court Street and Broadway, giving the church full use of the green grassy area on the west side of Sixth Street as well as the street itself for the Very Big Slide. We had two slides: a very big one for smaller children and a very much bigger one for children (and anyone else childlike enough to brave it).In preparing for and hosting this event, Grace also made connections with some of the other groups in the Muskogee community. These groups and the event activities are listed below as well as the impressive amounts of food and drinks that were served:Food and Drinks Served:• 175 hamburgers• 180 hot dogs• 200 bags of chips• 450 snow cones• 600 cans of soda/bottles of waterCommunity Groups Involved:• Elite beauty college (free) – provided free haircuts• Make Music Muskogee (free) – provided live music• CCOM (free) – provided a free health fair with blood pressure checks, glucose checks, and educational materials• ShowItOff Inflatables (discounted) – inflatable water slide rentals• Muskogee County EMS (free) – hands-on ambulance experience• Air Evac Lifeteam (free) – hands-on helicopter experience• Powder Room Potties (discounted) – air-conditioned restroom trailer• Grace Quilters (free) – quilting craft activity• Snap That Photography (discounted) – photo booth• Just Chillin Shaved Ice Shack (discounted) – snow cones
• Of course our wonderful Grace family and volunteers – set up, clean up, and everything in betweenA fair portion of the people who attended simply saw the street fair and joined in the fun. More than half of those attending walked to the event so this was truly a neighborhood festival. We met some old friends and new ones too. Several people wanted to know if we would do this again next year. Here are some comments people made about the event:• Attendee—This is the most loving group of people I have ever met. My church would never do anything like this. This is top notch.
• Grace member—This was a wonderful community event! So much fun! I heard so many positive comments. For me, it was like a mission trip without leaving our community, and that is wonderful. God blessed us with perfect weather and a perfect burger chef, too!
• Attendee—Thanks for holding this event for the community! Kids enjoyed it for sure.
• Facebook follower (one of 3,200)—What an awesome community event!
• Elite Beauty College—Thanks to Grace Episcopal Church for inviting elite students to give back to our community, giving free haircuts! We truly are grateful for the opportunity!
• Grace member—Thank you, everybody, we had a great time at our churches afternoon.
• Grace member—CCOM primary care clinic represents at Grace Episcopal Church of Muskogee 2018 Summer Fair. Mimi and her friends had a blast. Thank you.
The event would not have been possible without enormous volunteer effort from Grace Church members who cooked, set-up, cleaned up, checked children’s health, provided hospitality, purchased food, and helped with logistics. We wore our Grace T-shirts proudly. We served and loved over two hundred children plus their families!
All this took place on a Sunday when the Gospel told the story of the feeding of the 5,000. We were reminded that Jesus told us we would do greater things than he did. So, our church members went out on the street and did exactly that. We fed them. We loved them. We extended hospitality to them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” And they did. There was great energy and spirit, making our Very Big Slide family fun event day a Very Big Success!
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