06 Oct Summer Fun with St. Michael’s Anglican
This summer’s Family Fun Nights at St. Michael’s Anglican Church was the culmination of years of dreaming.
A few years ago, the church purchased six acres down the road from their church building in historic, downtown Delafield, WI. The COVID-19 pandemic hit, scuttling their plans for this space. But this summer, at Fr. Eric Snyder’s urging, the Children’s Ministry Team got together to launch Family Fun Nights on the property.
Bekah Grace, the new Associate for Administrations and Communications at St. Michael’s, helped spearhead the project, which hinged on the church’s vision statement: “Welcoming neighbors into the loving family of the living God.”
The church hosted monthly community outreach nights throughout the summer. On the third Wednesdays of June, July, and August, St. Michael’s hosted themed events for the families that lived nearby.
In June, the church partnered with local police and fire departments for “Touch a Truck Night.” The evening drew many young families with toddlers, and one of St. Michael’s pastors shared the Gospel. Around 150 people in attendance had never visited the church.
That event opened outreach opportunities later to the neighborhood’s first responders. St. Michael’s outreach pastor was invited to ride along with first responders. He was also invited to offer pastoral care to them.
In July, families walked their dogs to “Doggone Fun Night”. Grace said that was her favorite night: “We discovered that dogs are an easy entry point to conversation.” She remembers a particularly moving conversation with a caregiver for a dementia patient. They stopped by because dogs calm her patient.
“It opened up this lovely conversation, and I felt like I was able to hear her,” Grace said. “I think she really felt the love of Jesus in that conversation.”
And in August, families “Beat the Heat” with water games, an obstacle course, and snow cones.
The church hopes to repeat the events next June and July. And this fall, they’re planning to host a bonfire with a family of bluegrass musicians who attend St. Michael’s.
In addition to drawing out the community, the St. Michael’s congregation was heavily involved—around 80 percent of the parish turned out for the events.
“I’d say the general culture of the parish has started to shift after seeing the success of the summer events,” Grace said. “We feel capable of outreach because it’s all about just inviting neighbors in and sharing God’s love, and trusting the Holy Spirit to do a good work through us.”