It was Aug. 6, and although the weather forecast seemed dismal with a 60% chance of rain, Methodists from all six United Methodist churches located between Franklin and Jeanerette came together for their first annual “Back to School Bash.” Fortunately, the rain held off for this day of worship, family fun and food sponsored by Asbury, McGowan, St. Paul, St. Peter and Trinity UMCs, along with First UMC in Franklin.
The day began with worship at Trinity UMC, with St. Peter’s youth choir’s lively performance and Rev. Ronald J. Southall’s message entitled, “Yes, I Can Do It!” “We encouraged everyone to know that we can do anything through Christ who strengthens us,” said Rev. Southall, pastor of Trinity UMC in Balwin.
Following the service, more than 300 people crossed the street as a group to gather on the grounds of UMCOR Sager Brown Depot where folks enjoyed space walks, sack races, volleyball and football. Lively games of ping-pong, pool and foosball, along with arts and crafts, were enjoyed inside.
“This amazing event was a total collaboration, connecting local churches to the Global Ministries arm of The United Methodist Church. Members of all six churches worked together to plan this event under the direction of the three pastors leading these churches, including myself and Revs. Darrel Briggs and Sue Pugh,” said Southall. “Carolyn Jack of St. Paul UMC was the ‘ultimate shopper’ for the event, making the most of the dollars available for purchasing the school supplies we distributed.”
The churches were grateful for the depot’s generous hospitality. “Amy Fuselier, Sager Brown’s executive director, and depot volunteer Barbara Hickerson worked with the facility’s staff members to provide ‘the multitudes’ with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks.
All of the churches are looking forward to holding next year’s event, when organizers plan to have a pastoral dunking booth. “I’m sure that will be a big draw, with parishioners standing in line to dunk their pastor!,” said Southall.