I am learning that there is something really different about being part of a “downtown” church—a church nestled in among businesses and restaurants, with lots of foot traffic and limited parking. Most of my personal and all of my professional church life has been spent in “neighborhood” churches—churches tucked among residential homes. In downtown churches, our neighbors are shop owners and servers, bartenders and cashiers. We meet our neighbors by sticking our heads in their shops or pulling up a stool to eat or grab a drink. In a neighborhood church our neighbors are homeowners and families. We meet our neighbors while walking our dogs or mowing our lawns. In downtown churches, it is good to join the Chamber of Commerce. In neighborhood churches, it is good to host the book club. Royal Oak First is a downtown church in the heart of a thriving downtown.
That is never more true than next weekend, when nearly a half million people will descend into downtown Royal Oak for the annual Arts, Beats, and Eats Festival. And our church will be smack dab in the middle of all of it! So I want to invite you to come and be a part of Arts, Beats, and Eats with us. Our church is ground zero for volunteer coordination. Our front lawn will host the diaper changing, breastfeeding, and family dining. Our restrooms will provide hospitality for all the artists. So, if you are around, come and help welcome our guests with a smile. Information to volunteer is at the Here I Am Lord Table or in the office.
Also come and be a part of a very special worship experience next Sunday. We will be worshiping together right in the midst of all the excitement with one worship service at 9:30 am on the Country/Americana Stage at the corner Sixth and Lafayette. This is a great experience to invite a friend or neighbor to join you. The music will be fun and uplifting. The message will be short and meaningful. Then you can go and experience the fun of the festival.
This is what it means to makes Christ’s love real right in the midst of our beautiful, vibrant, and bustling downtown. Come and be a part of the fun!
Grace and Peace,