Dave Johnson is a life-long member of Grace United Methodist Church in Geneseo. He knows the hidden treasures and talents of the church and congregation and wants to share those with the community.
Johnson has been instrumental in planning “Displays of Grace,” a community block party “for anyone who wants to join us,” he said.
The two-day event, Aug. 18 and Aug. 19, will be on the grounds of and inside the church at 318 North Center St.
The “party” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 18, includes a free lunch of hot dogs, chips and brownies, available from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The theme for Aug. 19, is “Grace Church Sundae Fun Day,” and will begin at 10 a.m. with a combined worship service. An all-church and community meal will be at 11:30 a.m.
On Aug. 18, a variety of music, by church members, bell choir members and special piano music will be featured throughout the day, along with activities for children, face painting and a dunk tank.
Mission presentations include Haiti, Gulf Coast Reprise with updates regarding the upcoming trips to Frakes, Ky., and Harrisburg.
“Displays of Grace” will showcase photography, quilting, art works, handicrafts and more, by church members.
The idea for a block party has been brewing in Johnson’s mind for some time, he said.
“For a long time I have felt like our church is behind as far as making itself known to the community. I have often thought people might wonder what goes on inside our church with the people. This is an opportunity for our people to meet the folks of the community and tell them who we are, from our outstanding programs to our worldwide mission work.
“Our church mission statement is ‘to passionately follow Jesus Christ and bring others to know God’s love,’ and I think the block party gives us an opportunity to do just that,” Johnson said.
“I have always been a firm believer in The Great Commission when Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and that’s what we are to do.”
Lynne Haars, director of music at Grace Church, echoed Johnson’s belief in carrying out the church mission statement and she described the block party as “a multi-faceted event that hopefully, prayerfully, will be one way we can live out our mission statement by presenting an opportunity to introduce persons in our community and neighborhood to Grace to the people of Grace and to the programs and purposes of Grace.”
She said the theme for the day, “Displays of Grace,” fits into the block party. “It is an intentional play on words because our church is named ‘Grace,’ and because one of God’s most wondrous attributes, part of His every essence, is grace. One of the simpler definitions of grace is ‘God’s unmerited and undeserved favor toward us.’ God’s most personal and powerful expression of that grace and undeserved favor is, of course, Jesus. And the most graphic symbol of the grace purchased for us by Him is the cross.”
The large cross displayed in the church sanctuary at Easter will be used for the block party to depict the expressions of grace and other graces God gave through Christ’s sacrifice, Haars said.
“We are hoping to have the cross ‘speak’ to those who don’t know of this amazing grace and love,” she said.
“God has also shown His grace to us by giving us each gifts and talents that express His creativity,” she said, which explains the second part of “Displays of Grace,’ an exhibit titled, ‘God’s displays of grace through His people,” which will be a room filled with collections, hobbies, art work, photographs, woodworking, quilts and more.
“What we hope is that someone who attends our block party might be led to feel that they could fit in at Grace,” Haars said, “and that they might discover God is interested in everything we are and do.”
Johnson said, “The vision behind the block party is that we invite people to visit us in a casual atmosphere so that we may renew old friendships and to also become friends with those we have not yet met.”
For more information about the events, call Johnson at 944-3412.