Community Life Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, hosted a block party that volunteers say was “anointed in more ways than we can count.”
Three other Wesleyan churches, located in Indiana (Brookhaven Wesleyan in Marion; Trinity Church East in Fishers; and Trinity Church in Indianapolis), partnered with Community Life to reach Cincinnati. Youth and adults served at the event.
Volunteers canvassed the community with door hangers, served at two area ministries and prayed on site for the community schools, police department and food pantry. They also provided hard labor and helped to spruce up the grounds and church building. Every day was packed with activity designed to stretch volunteers physically, relationally, emotionally and spiritually.
The block parties were held Wednesday through Sunday and were full of people who came for fun, food, music, prizes and life in community. Every night, each participant received a hot meal. God provided hundreds of pounds of food through the generous donations of two area businesses. Other businesses, ministries, performers and community agencies donated time, goods and talent to make every day new and exciting.
Hundreds of people came nightly but the largest crowd gathered on Friday for the first-ever “Recovery Night.” Speakers, musicians, a local police officer and many others gathered to proclaim that drug recovery is possible! A local reporter who attended is writing an article on the Cincinnati area heroin epidemic and helping in that fight.
“In an area where heroin is a huge issue (the worst in the nation), it was amazing to offer a positive, hopeful message to so many in our community,” said Sandy Metz, Community Life Church ministry planning coordinator.
“It is exciting to bring together such a diverse group of people on our property,” Metz said. “Several years ago, we became extremely intentional about our vision to become a multiethnic church, one that reflects the community surrounding the church.
“God is answering prayer as he brings people together for church on Sundays,” said Metz, “but Block Party 2017 was successful because it enabled us to cross barriers, make unlikely connections and provide an atmosphere where people can enjoy each other’s presence in the context of community life outside the church walls.”
Other Block Party highlights include an area teen who prayed to receive Christ. Another teen, who traveled from Indiana to serve, gave his life to Christ. View his testimony video. Also as a result of the event, two new neighborhood families are attending Community Life and hundreds of connections were made in the community.
Community Life Church staff and volunteers look forward to more of what God will do as a result of Block Party 2017.
“God has blessed our church with a beautifully diverse neighborhood,” said Rev. Dan Metz, pastor of Community Life Church. “Events like this draw together people from widely divergent ethnicities and backgrounds, connecting them around food, friendliness, laughter and the love of Jesus. Some are inspired to faith, others begin to hope again and all move toward seeing the Church as a place of love, acceptance and possibility. It’s worth every ounce of energy required.”