This week, our featured blogger is Matt Owens, Pastor of Christ the Redeemer Quincy. In October, UniteBoston was blessed to partner with his church to host a fall festival with live music, a free ice cream truck, hot apple cider, pumpkin painting and other activities for children! Read below to hear about how UB helped to enhance and further his church’s fall outreach initiative.
“We need to have a fun event to which we can invite our neighbors.” That’s what I had been thinking for some time.
Our church plant, Christ the Redeemer Quincy, launched in the Wollaston neighborhood of Quincy with great momentum and excitement. That was March 1, 2020. Little did any of us know that in less than two weeks, a pandemic would prevent us from gathering together in person.
We had our launch Sunday and one more Sunday before having to move everything online for a period of time. Our hope, at that point, was to host a block party, invite our neighbors, and recapture momentum “when this was all over.” But this took longer than most expected.
So instead of waiting, we were able to host some outdoors events — first a Trick-or-Treat event (all outdoors and masked) at Halloween of 2020, then a socially distant Easter egg hunt in the spring of 2021. But we wanted to offer something that adults could enjoy as well as children.
In the summer of 2021, I attended an event at a large park near my house in Quincy in which there was live music and an ice cream truck, and I started to dream about our church plant hosting a similar event, but with children’s games and activities as well. I spoke with a friend and musician at our church about live music during a fall festival, and that was when UniteBoston entered the picture. My friend had played music as part of an open mic for UniteBoston’s backyard concert series over the summer. He suggested partnering with UB for this festival.
Shortly after, I spoke with UniteBoston’s director, Rev. Kelly Fassett, whom I had met and worked with previously. I wasn’t sure if this was the sort of thing UniteBoston would want to be involved, but Kelly assured me they existed to help and support local churches.
UniteBoston enabled our dream to become a reality. On October 16th, the rain held off and we had a beautiful day for our Fall Festival. Over two hundred of our neighbors and Christians from all over the Boston area showed up to enjoy ice cream, pumpkin painting, and children’s games as well as some wonderful and diverse live music. The live music was entirely organized and run by the UniteBoston team, and they were completely professional, upbeat and servant-hearted. The music included everything from rap to acapella to praise hymns. The hundreds who showed up had a great afternoon, learned about our church’s heart for the city, and heard of Jesus’ heart for them. Several people told me how refreshing and encouraging it was to be at a festival like this, a feeling that I shared.
We truly could not have pulled this off if it weren’t for the help of UniteBoston. Even in the midst of this pandemic, UniteBoston has done so much to support and encourage local churches, working with them and bringing them together for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
Note: You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your church or non-profit would like to partner with us to host live music at your event or outreach opportunity. We have an incredible network of diverse local artists and musicians and other resources. We are here for you!