Stories have power. Stories define us. Stories connect us. At our recent Kids Team Kick Off training meeting I narrated the story of our team as we progressed through the evening, facing challenges, sharing fun and earning rewards. We first stepped through the wardrobe and into another world, answering the call to action. There we faced new challenges but found new allies and armor to protect us. We overcame logistical snares and emerged energized and ready to serve. But more importantly, we reflected on how we’ve been invited to join the story of redemption, and our names have been written in the book of life by the author and perfecter of our faith.
It is our sweet privilege as teachers of children to step into their faith stories as mentors and allies, sharing with them the great story that spans sixty-six books and captures the living and active breath of God as it beckons us towards grace and forgiveness. But we are just punctuated whispers in the wind compared to the powerful narrative force of their parents, and we want to do everything we can to give our kids’ parents the support they need to bring their faith story to life in the home. You see, we love to share stories. We love to share them verbally, but we also love to share in them, doing life together as we grow in Christ.
Often it is where our stories intersect with someone else’s that we most clearly see reverberations of the greatest story. This is the beauty of Eastminster’s discipleship strategy—it’s all about intersecting lives as we Worship, Grow, Go, and Serve together. We share true stories from God’s Word each Sunday, seek to weave these faith discussions into our family stories, and then intentionally expand our circles to include missionary partners, whose stories inspire us to step into the bigger story ourselves. We all have stories to share, and we create new ones as we serve together, connecting us as members of one body.
This year we have jumped into the story of our friend Pastor Bill Vann at the Iasis Christian Center in a deeper way, with many families and individuals volunteering to help complete the work on their new community center and celebrate with a grand opening carnival. As this story unfolds, we see how this new facility can be a powerful positive plot twist in its community, impacting the trajectories of many lives for Christ. As our partnership grows, we want to encourage the families in their target neighborhood to gather and fellowship there, and we realized we have a great opportunity to do just that.
Each year at the end of October, we step out into our communities wearing costumes that connect us with stories we enjoy. For an evening we take up the roles and garb of things like heroes, heroines, animated characters or animals (and get some candy to boot). Here at Eastminster, we have been very intentional in how we infuse the Halloween narrative with hospitality and the love of Jesus. Our Trunk or Treat events have always been about helping families have fun, feel loved, and hear the good news in a casual setting. This resonates with our marks of discipleship to do life with others who point us to Jesus, as well as investing in someone far from God.
On Halloween evening this year we will have the opportunity to serve with the same mission, but in another neighborhood where we can have a significant kingdom impact this year. We will have the privilege of again intersecting our story with that of Iasis, creating an event that will provide a truly safe and family friendly alternative for the surrounding neighborhood. Since this is the first fall the center has been open, it is the perfect time to build excitement by lending our Trunk or Treat organizational savvy, and a great way for us to take our service into an area of the community that does not have any similar events. Our partnership will provide a boost and a template for future reference. We will create memorable stories as we serve side by side, sharing joy, candy and a clear declaration of the Gospel Story. Thank you for choosing to share your story with us here at Eastminster!
Here are this year's volunteer opportunities:
• Host a gospel trunk
• Host a trunk
• Donate candy
• Run carnival games
• Help with set up
• Help with clean up