Sacred Space Church is a church plant formed to bring more of the kingdom to the community of Worthington, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. It might seem like a “picture perfect” small town in many ways, but behind every front door are families and individuals facing struggles of daily life. Often hidden are broken marriages, debt, infertility, loneliness, grief, anxiety, addiction, and the overwhelming busyness that isolates us. We have committed to being a faithful presence in our community, endeavoring to be a neighborhood church who “makes space” in life for connection with God and others.
Even though we are a small church community (less than 50 people), we are eager to demonstrate the generous heart of our Father, and love to include kids and neighbors in the process. One of the ways we’ve begun to do this is through an annual Food Trucks in the Park fundraiser for Asia’s Hope. Asia’s Hope is a family-style, residential care center for orphaned children at high-risk of sexual and economic exploitation.
Raising funds for the children’s home in India has become a community event for all. During the event, local food trucks come to our neighborhood park fully stocked with their deliciousness for members of the community to purchase. We also host a bake sale and local musicians donated their time to play during the event. As a church, we committed to matching 50% of the total food truck sales with a donation to Asia’s Hope. Each food truck made their own donation, and all money from our bake sale went directly to Asia’s Hope. Our total giving for this event was $3,770.45.
Preparation for an event like this can be challenging for a small church to accomplish. Thankfully, we’ve seen that God has placed hearts full of compassion and generosity within our community. Many of our neighbors who are not yet a part of our church have been eager to serve in meaningful ways. In the Vineyard, “everyone gets to play”, so these neighbors served by hand-delivering door-hanger invitations to 1,000 homes, baking over 400 treats, and managing the bake sale table.
While fundraising was the initial hope for our event, God has used Food Trucks in the Park for several purposes.
- It brought our neighbors out to meet us, to connect, join in a shared meal with a common purpose, and meet new people.
- It was an invitation to deepen established relationships, to share common struggles, encourage one another or ask meaningful questions.
- For others, it was an invitation to give or serve alongside our church.
Small churches can impact lives around the globe. Instead of focusing on the lack of resources within our church, we allowed God to demonstrate His abundance of resources through others in our community. Including our neighbors in service was made possible through nurturing established relationships and knowing the passions and desires of neighbor’s hearts. Noticing what God is already doing in our communities and being willing to partner with local organizations is often a first step for small churches who desire to serve. We’re excited to see where these new and deepened relationships go.
Pastors Nate and Erica Graff have been married for over 14 years and have 2 children attending Elementary School. Currently, Nate works as a Software Developer for Columbus City Schools, and Erica works as a Speech-Language Pathologist for Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities in addition to being Pastors of Sacred Space.