Churches ready community celebration
Dells, Baltic groups plan ‘extravaganza’
August 14. 2012 9:33AM
What once was comprised of a church state park camp-out weekend culminating in an outdoor service is seeing an alteration for this year’s outing. River Community Church (RCC) pastor Andy Wright hopes that the congregation’s “free outdoor extravaganza” will involve more people from the community and area at-large.
“We wanted to keep our celebration local, and we wanted to try to get as many people as possible from our communities to join us for the event,” Wright said. “We really want this to be a big event that lots of people from outside our churches come to.”
In conjunction with RCC, area churches Zao Community Church of Brandon and Christ Fellowship of Baltic will put on the celebration and worship service. Brandon’s Zach Sommerlot, who previously pastored at both RCC and Christ Fellowship, will be assisting Wright in the event-ending worship.
The event, which will take place Aug. 26 at the Dell Rapids City Park beginning at 3 p.m., will include music, food, carnival-style activities and worship.
“The entire event is designed to be a celebration of the gospel, of Jesus Christ, of God’s grace and of the impact that the gospel has had on individual lives,” Wright said, citing a sharing time that will take place during the event, in which four people will talk about how Christ has changed their lives and subsequently be baptized in the Big Sioux.
“The baptisms will be a bit muddy, but it’s going to be a blast,” Wright said, “so people can expect to have a tremendous time of fun, food and fellowship, but they can also look forward to great worship, hearing the gospel passionately proclaimed and being stirred by the personal testimonies and baptisms of ordinary people.”
Among the entertainers for the extravaganza are Shane Heilman of the Psalms Project, who performed at RCC July 29, and Laura Jean Pulscher, of the group Sycamore Blue. The performers will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The church will also be serving food from 4:30-6:30 p.m. that evening, with hot dogs, dessert and sides on the menu. Volunteers will be accepting free will donations at the celebration. The worship service is set to begin at 6:30.
Activities, which will start the event off at 3 p.m., are set to include inflatables, caricature artists, cotton candy, face painting, beanbags, balloon twisting, volleyball and a petting zoo.
The RCC pastor thinks the event sends an important message for the involved congregations – that the gospel is at the core of everything they do.
“We need times like this when we put the spotlight on the gospel in a big way,” he said. “We want to always be doing things to bless our communities and to bless the world, and I think this will bless our community in a big way.”