Churches have long been the center of many communities here in America. They offer more than a place to pray; they work to build stronger communities and to help those in need. They give a sense of purpose to those who may find themselves lost and without direction, and they build and strengthen families and friendships. So this Father’s Day, in honor of the men who have been important figures in our lives, Calvary Church of Valparaiso held their fourth annual Father’s Day in the Park Celebration under a beautiful blue sky at downtown Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso.
Lionel Young, Senior Pastor with Calvary Church, was thankful for another opportunity to speak with the congregation.
“This is our fourth year doing this,” said Pastor Young. “We love our city, we love our community, and we thought that Father’s Day was a great time to celebrate families and get out in the community, to share in God’s blessings and enjoy being with others in God’s name, and Central Park Plaza is the perfect place to do that.”
The pastor said that it’s also a great opportunity for members of the church, giving those who might not otherwise be able to meet each other due to schedules or space restrictions the chance to all gather in one location and share in God’s joy and love.
“We have three worship services on Sunday mornings, because we can’t fit everyone into the worship center at one time, so to have this opportunity to have everyone here in one place at one time is just amazing,” said Pastor Young. “Also, we get a chance to meet new people. I just met a young lady who was from out of town, and she told me that she had heard the music and decided to come by and join our worship service here this morning.”
“She was completely blessed, and we love that,” said Pastor Young.
The event offered families a variety of activities throughout the afternoon, like delicious food, refreshments, live music, and quality time spent with dads as families showed their appreciation for all that fathers do.
Calvary Church hosts events like this to celebrate important people not just in our community, but for people around the world. Bob Prewitt, a Valpo resident who works as a civil engineer for Enspect of Merrillville, appreciates the good work that the church does for the community, but said that their ministry reaches out across the globe.
“My family and I are members of Calvary Church. We’re proud that the church is part of Kids Alive which sponsors homes for young kids - orphans and others - around the world,” said Prewitt.
Prewitt said that he and his family will soon be flying down to Guatemala to serve at a home that Kids Alive sponsors. They will be there for a week to help the children there to enjoy life, and to give the adults there who regularly care for those girls a chance to have a little time to themselves.
Jessica Lewis, Assistant to Pastor Young, thought that Father’s Day in the Park is a great chance to recognize fathers on many levels.
“We’re excited to be here. We love this celebration, we love this community. This is a great chance to celebrate our own fathers, as well as our Father in Heaven.”
“It’s important for a church to be the hands and feet of Christ, and this is our chance to do that, to work with partners and find ways to give back to this wonderful community,” said Lewis.
For more information about Calvary Church, go to www.calvaryweb.net.