presenting the 8th annual . . .

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Mission Church Fall Fest!  It’s hard to believe that this was the 8th year that we’ve done this event, but it’s true!  It gets bigger every year.  Our people are faithful to volunteer and invite their friends each time.  And it all results in a fun evening where people who don’t come to our church can connect with the Mission Church family in an easy going environment.  Plus, it’s just a whole lot of fun.  How can you go wrong with hay rides, inflatables, and a beautiful and crisp Central Oregon day?  You just can’t!

Our friends, Tim and Julia, were the ever-gracious hosts again.  They let all of these hundreds of people enjoy their beautiful property.  And give people and opportunity to have a wonderful night with their families.  Plus it gives the church leaders a chance to get to know people without having to worry about a church service or be under any kind of time limit.  The Taylors’ generosity has been a huge blessing!

This year we had a few changes.  We finally put any and all parking out to pasture, literally.  Everybody, not just the volunteers, parked out in the back field.  I think that’s a sign of growth when you know that the cars won’t fit out in front of the house anymore.  It’s a good problem to have.  Another change was the food.  Sadly, we ended the annual tradition of a chili cook-off.  It was a bittersweet decision.  It was always a fun competition to be sure, but changing the food situation also meant that we ended the annual tradition of running out of food and having people, especially volunteers, leave the event hungry.  Not good.  So instead, we outsourced.  And what was the solution?  Food trucks, of course!  It was pretty cool seeing the food truck owners come out with their families to enjoy the festival.  They not only had a good evening of work, but also enjoyed all the fun stuff with their kids.  I think it was a win-win!

And now here is where I get a little bit nostalgic.  Sorry, but it just can’t be helped!  Back in 2007, the Fall Fest started out as something we came up with so that when Mission Church had our very first services we would have some kind of event to invite people to.  We wanted a chance to get to know people outside of a weekend service setting.  It was actually very strategic.  But honestly, we had no clue that we would still be doing it all these years later, and that the event (and the church) would have grown so much in that time.  I realize that we’ve been doing this awhile, but every time we do this thing, or even on the weekend services, I still look out at the cars and think to myself, “People came!  Woohoo!  People actually showed up!”  I’m hoping that I never stop having those feelings when someone walks through our doors and decides to give church a chance.  Even if the first time they do it is out in a pasture on a ranch at Fall Fest.

Pastor Scott, the welcoming committee

Pastor Scott, the welcoming committee

face painting

face painting

You're never too young to have some fall fun!

You’re never too young to have some fall fun!

a couple of cuties

a couple of cuties

the riding bull

the riding bull

The beautiful Rachel and her trusty horse giving some pony rides.

The beautiful Rachel and her trusty horse giving some pony rides.

Are these inflatables big enough?

Are these inflatables big enough?

This last picture I just put in so I could show you my new toy, the iPhone6.  You can see it’s shadow as we’re taking the selfie pic.  It’s a lot of fun.  I do have one complaint, though.  It’s so slim and skinny that it disappears into my purse too easily and now I’m having a hard time finding it when I need to dig it out to make a call or take a picture, which is really about the only two things I do with my phone anyway.  Brent could run the world with his phone, but I’m still trying to keep it simple.  Happy fall!

Superman and me

Superman and me

summer summary- part 2

Labor Day was our last big hurrah before the beginning of school.  So we took advantage of the beautiful day and packed as much into every minute as possible.  It’s the best kind of busy:  with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors, exercise, and fun!  Not too mention some yummy food.

We began the day on the annual All-Church Labor Day Hike.  This year we went to the world famous Smith Rock State Park, home of Misery Ridge and world-class rock climbing.  The scenery is gorgeous!  And watching the many rock climbers that were at the park that day was amazing.  They are some pretty brave and daring souls!  I kept telling the kids that it was the first day of school and we were starting the year with a field trip to Smith Rock.  I don’t thing they believed me, though.  After hiking, we enjoyed a picnic lunch and then headed into Redmond to do some antique shopping.  We know where all the good spots are for antiquing in Redmond.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we had fun with it either way.

Then it was time for some dinner!  Mission Church’s Redmond campus hosted a family BBQ, so we had some fun hanging out with some more of our church family.  Lots of people, lots of food, lots of fun!  It was a great way to finish the summer and move on to the school year.  Happy hiking!

a beautiful girl in a beautiful place

a beautiful girl in a beautiful place

You know it's serious climbing when they have crutches and a stretcher at the ready.

You know it’s serious climbing when they have crutches and a stretcher at the ready.

Gimme some burgers!

Gimme some burgers!

Jump!

Jump!

The teaching team as targets for the water balloon launch.

The teaching team as targets for the water balloon launch.

This was after they had been properly drenched.

This was after they had been properly drenched.

My buddy, Holly

My buddy, Holly

 

summer summary- part 1

Now that school is underway, I’m looking back fondly at the last weeks of summer that we enjoyed.  I guess the saying is true, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”  In August, Emma went on a youth retreat to beautiful Crescent Lake.  This was just one more of the many places is Oregon that we have not visited before.  Sarah, our amazing youth pastor, let us tag along a little bit.  We camped nearby but tried to give Emma as much space and freedom as possible.  It’s always a fun balance between being the pastor of a church and a parent of a church member.  But our rule of thumb is:  if you’re going to disappoint someone, don’t let it be your kids.  Anyway, we were around, but tried not to be in the way.

We were excited to see this National Forest area.  The big lake is great for boating in the summer.  But we also learned that it’s a popular location for snowmobilers in the winter.  That would be a fun adventure!  I wouldn’t be surprised if we come back here sometime in the future.  Happy camping!

preparing lunch on the Biolite.  Love that little stove!

preparing lunch on the Biolite. Love that little stove!

sibling love

sibling love

it's selfie time!

it’s selfie time!

skipping rocks

skipping rocks

meeting new friends

meeting new friends

Lauren, where is the rest of you?

Lauren, where is the rest of you?

campire and s'mores

campire and s’mores