Respite in Downtown Goldsboro

Brothers and sisters,

Years ago, my hometown of Goldsboro began a project to revive our downtown. The Downtown Goldsboro Develop-ment Corporation (DGDC) cast a vision of what downtown Goldsboro could look like and began applying for grants to execute that vision. And, over the last twentyish years, they’ve done just that. Downtown Goldsboro is now a thriving part of the city with local shops and restaurants dotting Center Street and local special events happening throughout the year. But there was one thing I noticed when I was home last month that brought a smile to my face.

See, one of the unique features that the DGDC incorporated into the design of downtown was an amphitheater near the fire station. The idea behind this amphitheater was that concerts could be had there, events could set up emcees and DJs there, and folks could just meet there throughout the week. But since it was near the fire station (which actually also houses police and EMS), emergency services also like to take advantage of it to do public outreach. And as I was driving downtown recently, I looked and saw where one of our fire crews was out in the amphitheater playing all kinds of water games with local children. They had hooked up one of the fire trucks and were spraying water all over for kids to jump through, jump over, get misted by, and on and on and on. The little kids were all running around, just squealing with delight. When I asked someone about what was happening, they told me that the fire station does that once a week, every week during the summer to give the local kids something cool and fun to do in the midst of hot summers. It serves as a bit of respite for the children’s parents as well. And it helped build camaraderie between police, firemen, EMS drivers, and the community.

I tell you all that story because we have yet another opportunity to reach out to our community and provide a day of respite for folks. Our next Super Saturday Adventure is coming up on Saturday, August 19th. At each of our Adventures, we’ve elevated one of the stations to be our “big event.” In June, we did the cookout. In July, we painted ceramics. This month, we’re playing water games with the kids! And I’m so looking forward to it! I’m looking forward to the parents being able to come, drop their kids off, and know they’ll be cared for. I’m looking forward to getting to see these children again and get to know them better. I’m looking forward to seeing their smiles and hearing their joyful squeals. In all of it, I hope that the children will get to hear about a God who loves them, a God who loves their joy, and a God who gives abundantly.

If you would like to help out, there are several ways you can do that. Registration is open for both children and volunteers on our website, And if you are unable to join us the day of, please be sure to take time to pray for the volunteers, the children, and their parents. Pray that all of us would be knit closer together as a community. Pray that August 19th would serve as a welcome respite for everyone as we learn about God and play some really fun games!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ben