by Charity Silvas/ August 19, 2016
Fall is coming and I’m already getting excited! From the turning leaves, the return of football, crisp air, homemade applesauce, and pumpkin spice ev-ry-thing… It’s my absolute favorite time of year. At Morningside Assembly we invite the community for a party on our church campus. It’s scheduled the Wednesday before Halloween, and we call it “Big Orange Party” (aka B.O.P.)
We choose this date to take advantage of the mind-set that everyone is already in. That is, let’s engage our neighbors, if only just to pillage a candy dish! Last year our event went over 900 in attendance with less than half being from our membership. We can’t wait to reach out again this October!
B.O.P. is a family event, and we provide fun for every age group. Pumpkin Bowling is usually pretty popular! The entire event is decked out in orange and white decorations. We use both our inside facilities and outside to take advantage of the space we have and also to introduce our neighbors to the building in a “relaxed” atmosphere. As guests arrive they are given an orange bag for collecting candy from each game, and they put their name in a raffle for their age group.
Throughout the night our MCs make announcements and raffle off prizes. Last year we gave away over 35 prizes, including two iPads! The best “dressed in orange” contest winners each won a prize as well as an orange rocking chair! The orange candy bags have a B.O.P. logo sticker on the front and a small card inside inviting them to regular services and to Christmas Eve. As they leave we hand the invite cards out again to make sure they received one.
Really, the best part is that our entire staff puts this on and it’s an “all hands on deck” project. Even our board is largely involved. The technical needs are taken care of by the church tech guy, our promo team runs the promo, and our executive pastor handles volunteers (we had about 100 volunteers). He also takes care of recruiting and assigning stations.
Our other staff members divide up the various areas and lead those together: refreshments, carnival games, inflatables, music videos and dance floor (kids ministry action songs and popular choreographed tunes like Cha Cha Slide or Cupid Shuffle). We all work together to acquire all the supplies and prizes and set the event up together as team. As awesome as the outreach to the community is, I think my favorite part is that I “get” to work together with my team on a project.
Have a wonderful rest of your summer, friends! I think I may go make some Pumpkin Bread now!