From You Sounded Out: Seasonal/Special Programs

The Langstaff Gospel Hall is relatively new in its neighborhood. The assembly has maintained an active outreach both before and since moving to our present location. Here are some of our activities.

Christmas Eve Program (Sunday Evening)

• special outreach during regular gospel meeting time

• tea/snack afterwards; time for acquaintance/socializing

• flyers distributed in area immediately around the hall; invitations given to Sunday school children; placards placed on the gates

Pros: Some Sunday school contacts came. The environment is less formal, less intimidating.

Cons: How will we handle this when Christmas Eve does not fall on a Sunday? Will this affect the attendance?

Easter Program/Mother’s Day Program

• special outreach during regular Sunday school time

• tea/snack afterwards; time for acquaintance/socializing

• children quote verses, do readings, etc.

• parents are more likely to come if child is participating in a program

• flyers distributed in area around the hall; invitations given to Sunday school children; placards placed on the gates

Pros: Some of the Sunday school contacts came. Some from the community came. The environment was less formal.

Cons: At this time of year, many believers are away at conferences and could not stay for the program. We hope these programs (Easter and Christmas Eve) will grow as we host them on a yearly basis. People from our community are more likely to come at these times of the year.

Community Barbecue

• hosted the second weekend of September on Saturday

• activities, candy, literature table, etc. for children

• barbecue, cookie decorating

• flyers distributed in the area around the hall; invitations given to Sunday school children; placards placed on the gates

Pros: Some neighborhood families have come for a few years. Some of the families have since started coming to Sunday school. Doing activities with the children and parents allows us to get to know them in a comfortable and less threatening atmosphere. Neighbors see us as normal and not just being people going to “church.”

Dufferin Hill Kids Club

• Thursday night outreach at a community school

• typical “children’s meeting” for 45 minutes, then break off into three age–appropriate groups for games

• awarded a t-shirt to those who came three or more times

• flyers distributed the first year; second year we only called the people who came the first year

Pros: The children have fun and enjoy coming. It is a good opportunity for our own kids to play together and the adults to visit.

Cons: Not enough space for the community children in addition to our own. We didn’t advertise the second year because it would have been difficult to handle a larger crowd, and, as a result, the numbers dropped. This became more of a work for our own children and a few friends and not what we initially intended, a community outreach.

Eamon Park Kids Club

• Tuesday night outreach in the community center of a co-op housing complex

• children’s meeting format for children directly from the co-op

• smaller numbers allow us to do a few more interactive lessons (building things, baking, etc.)

• flyers distributed in the community; knocked on doors.

Pros: We are building a presence in the community. A few of the children coming to this “club” are now regular attendees of our Sunday school. Some mothers have been coming to our other community events. We are right in their neighborhood so the children can walk to the community center. This provides an opportunity for some in the assembly, who are not as experienced/comfortable in front of larger crowds, to develop as workers with children.

Cons: The numbers were fairly small and the meetings seemed to lose momentum after Christmas. There are many children in the co-op with whom we hope to get involved to further this effort.