24 teams from 15 Pathfinder clubs took part in the Area level PBE at locations across Chesapeake Conference on Jan. 21.
The event featured free food and a popular waterslide attraction.
The Hagerstown (Md.) church hosted a community block party on Sunday, drawing over 600 people to the event featuring waterslides, bounce houses, live music and a barbecue cookout.
Organizers described the block party as a chance to build relationships in the community as part of the church’s ongoing evangelism cycle. Josue Feliciano, Hagerstown associate pastor, said the event provided an opportunity to “make new friends and become known as a church that really cares.”
The church offered guests free food, including hot dogs, watermelon, baked beans and potato salad. Attendees were also invited to sample treats like lemonade, snow cones and cotton candy.
Two “slip and slide” waterslides laid out on one of the church property’s long hills attracted large numbers of kids. Feliciano said the waterslides were busy for the duration of the afternoon and described them as “an endless source of joy.”
In addition to the popular waterslides, children and teens enjoyed playing in a bounce house, navigating an inflatable obstacle course and visiting a face-painting station.
Live music for the block party was provided by a band featuring several church members, including senior pastor Roger Larsen as the lead guitarist. The band performed a setlist of well-known secular songs.
“It’s just great to see the community come out and people connecting with the church and the church connecting with them,” said Larsen.
Booth exhibits were set up for attendees to learn more about the local Adventist community. In addition to exhibits for church ministries like Bible study classes and Pathfinders, representatives were on hand from several partner organizations, including Highland View Academy and Mt. Aetna Adventist School, who sponsored portions of the event.
The church reports several sign-ups for its Pathfinder club and Bible study classes. Members also conducted surveys asking attendees to identify future programs that would be relevant to the community.
“Our motive was to connect with people who weren’t in the church,” Larsen said. “If it takes a slippery slide and a bouncy house and some music to do it, it’s actually a great avenue to share yourself, what you believe, and the happiness you have in Christ.”