We are about 6 weeks away from our group of 7 High School students and 3 leaders flying down to Orlando, Florida to spend a week living in Christian community together. In case you haven’t heard by now, the group is doing what is called a “Community Live-In”. The trip as a whole is centered around building community and authentic relationships together, and it does this through small group discipleship, service opportunities both for one another and alongside one another, and simply having fun sharing the experience together.
As we finalize preparations for the trip, we wanted to give you a quick overview of what the experience will be like and what service opportunities we are looking to do. While many of the plans are set in place, there are a few details still being finalized. None-the-less, the trip will be here in no time, and we are very excited for it!
The trip will start in the most obvious place: Traveling together. As simple and necessary as travel to and from Orlando may be, it is also the first and last pieces of the puzzle that is the Live-In. Think back to all the times you have travelled with family or friends: Road Trips… Field Trips… Vacations. Part of the journey is the anxious waiting to get there, and the always dreaded trip home at the end. Traveling together as a group will no-doubt be time for us to make new memories, play games, tell jokes, and share stories; all of which can build and deepen friendships. We leave on Wednesday, July 5 from the church sometime in the early afternoon for our mid-afternoon flight from Indianapolis to Orlando. We were able to secure a non-stop flight there but had to settle with a layover in Atlanta on the way back.
Upon arrival, we’ll get our rental vans for the week and head out to our rental house in Four Corners, Florida (which is just south and west of the Disney Parks. This six-bedroom, 2579 sq ft. house will be our home for the week, and we’ll spend the first evening exploring our temporary home and (of course) playing in the private backyard pool. We’ll end the evening, as we will each night (and how we’ll begin each morning), with a time for small group devotions led by myself and the other leaders. These small group times will focus on reflections from our experience, as well as our theme for the week “What does the bible have to say about community?” Throughout the next five days (Thursday-Monday), we will do our best to live in to this type of Christian community together.
While there will be a service element each day, as we will be serving one another in teams as we cook meals and live in shared space together, we will have two days designated to service outside our group. While the final details are still being set, there are two primary projects we’ll be serving within. The first is with a company that works hand-in-hand with Audubon Park Covenant Church, our sister church there in Orlando. This company is called “Fleet Farming”, and the key concept centers around bringing sustainable, locally grown food to the neighborhood and community. Both parts of the church property, as well as different yards of community members, have been donated to the project. Instead of using the lawn to grow grass that provides little more than aesthetic value, they have made them into gardens that grow fruits and vegetables to bring high-quality, organic produce to the community and people in need. The second project is with a company called “Clean the World” that works with the hospitality service industry in Orlando (which is Orlando’s primary market) to recycle cleaning products normally wasted and thrown out by hotels and resorts and repurposes them to provide cleaning supplies and hygiene products to homeless shelters in cities around the country and around the world.
Outside of those two days, we plan on spending that Sunday in worship and with our friends at Audubon Park Covenant Church. And, of course, we plan on spending the remaining two days making memories and having fun together at the Disney Theme parks.
While we are so very close to being all set for this trip, we have one very important fundraiser left to help us get there. The Sponsored Car Wash takes place next week, on Friday June 2 from 2-5pm and Saturday, June 3 from 8-11am. Our team is being sponsored by friends and families to wash as many cars as possible. The more we wash, the more money our sponsors have promised to donate. And we need help to make this fundraiser a success and to meet our final fundraising goals. As we’ve mentioned on Sunday, you can help out in three different ways: 1) you can sponsor our team! Come and see me (Pastor Chuck) or any of our students and leaders (listed below) and make a donation of $.05 or $.10 per car we wash (or more). 2) bring your cars to be washed during either of these two 3-hour time slots. And 3) volunteer your time to come help us out! The more hands available to scrub, rinse, and dry cars, the faster we can get through as many cars as possible. There are simply jobs too, like the greeter at the front of the car wash line. Please consider helping us out in one or more of these ways!
But more importantly, be praying for our team as we take these last few weeks to prepare for this journey. Pray for our leaders: myself, Ben Teninty, and Jo Kincanon. And for our students: Adrienne Stanfield, Ben Waninger, Laila Kincade, Nate Waninger, Reina Sheets, Renea Phillips, and River Lail.
We look forward to sharing with the church about our experience when we return in July. Thank you for your support and prayers as we go on this discipleship experience together!
--Pastor Chuck Potts