August Big Four

For our church family, August has become a month of simultaneous great fun and great outreach. That’s because of four special events that now happen annually in this eighth month of the year.

Event number one is Beach Olympics for our middle school and high school students. That other Olympics only happens every four years, but our Beach Olympics has been happening every year for decades. Typically, more than one hundred students participate in this day-long extravaganza of games, food, music and the good news of Jesus. This summer it happens August 18, once again at the ancient home of Beach Olympics, Ona Beach.

Event number two is the latest addition to our August big events: Family Staycation, put on by our Children’s Ministry. Think Vacation Bible School amped up a few notches above normal, held evenings Monday through Friday, with social activities and classes for adults (scrapbooking or fly-fishing anyone?) going on at the same time as the kid’s activities, and you’ll have the basic picture of Family Staycation. That happens this year August 20-24 on our church campus.

Event number three has now become a tradition, happening this summer for the eleventh year in a row, on Sunday evening, August 26. It’s our all-church BBQ & Swim at Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis, and here’s the tradition: we take over the place for a few hours of repeated eating, swimming, talking, playing and laughing until the Osborn staff tells us the pool is closed and we have to go home. The word is that this year’s BBQ & Swim will have a few new positive twists on the food and fun!

Last, but certainly not least, the School Supply Drive for local teachers rounds out the August Big Four. Also now in its eleventh year, the drive goes on almost the whole month (this August from the 5th through the 26th). It’s a very simple outreach, but highly effective. We all on our own buy a few classroom supplies that under-resourced school teachers often have to pay for themselves, put those supplies in a big pile in our church lobby over the course of a few weeks, and then haul them over to our ministry partner, Love INC, to donate to the teachers on the School Supplies Giveaway day (August 31 this year). That only takes a little effort on our part, but it greatly blesses our local teachers and gives them a very encouraging glimpse of the generous love of Jesus.

Two common threads, of course, tie all of these events together: fun, and outreach to our community. We have great fun with the Big Four, but with each one we intentionally reach out to others, sharing not only our fun, but the deeper joy we have as followers of Christ. That’s the kind of fun that can make an eternal impact in someone’s life! So participate, volunteer to help, and most important of all, invite your friends and neighbors to join in. In short, follow the recipe: personally mix fun and outreach.

See you at the Bigs,

-Andy