Riverside Holds Annual Family Fest 2016

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“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:14-16 (NIV)

While the rest of the world celebrates Halloween and the “evil one”, Riverside chooses to promote Christ and our families by providing our families with a safe, Bible-based alternative to the holiday. It has become a tradition for us to gather at the church on October 31st to enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship – and of course food.

This year’s Family Fest held extra meaning for our families due to the events that had occurred just a few weeks before. We had several families who were affected by Hurricane Matthew in some way – some felt the direct impacts of the flooding and other weather damage, some felt the impact indirectly through family member’s damages, and all were impacted by the loss of utilities, the extended closure of the schools, and the overall stress a storm of this magnitude causes. So this year’s Family Fest was meant to provide the families of our church with a time of refuge from the storm.

The theme of Family Fest 2016 was “Fall in Love With Jesus”. The event had something for all ages. Most of the adults took the opportunity to talk and reflect on the events of the past weeks. They also participated in a “Guess the Candy Corn” game – the winner receiving the Mason jar full of candy corn they had been guessing about. The game also focused their attention on the colors of the candy and how it reflected the Trinity. For the youth and children, we set up several fall-themed carnival style games in the churchyard. The children were allowed to dress up in non-threatening costumes. After this time of fun, all were treated to a hearty spaghetti supper. The night concluded with a bonfire where we roasted marshmallow and made s’mores. All 69 of us (adults and children) who attended enjoyed this break from the stress as well as the fellowship with fellow believers.