From the Daddy Daughter Dance, to Serve Day, to Joy Prom, last weekend was full of fun and fellowship. Our congregation reached out to those in the community who otherwise wouldn’t typically attend a “church event.” Northland family, you truly acted as the hands and feet of Jesus this past weekend. Thank you to each and every person who was involved in any of these events, whether as a volunteer or attendee.
We kicked off the weekend with the Daddy Daughter Dance. “We start planning the event months in advance. “After the date is set, the first thing is to decide on a theme. This year was ‘Something Sweet,’” says Debbie Blahnik, Director of Children’s Ministries. “A bright, colorful palette with anything sweet was created. It took months of planning, and many hours to make it all come together. Starting with lighting, tablecloths, napkins, decor, centerpieces, that will transform the entire space. The week of the event we take over the HUB for all the finishing touches of decorations.”
Over 2,000 dads and daughters attended the dance. They enjoyed finger food, crafts, face painting, popcorn, cotton candy, roasting marshmallows, karaoke, and of course, dancing! All these fun activities would not be possible if it were not for all of our incredible volunteers. 210 volunteers dedicated their time to make this night special for all of the dads and daughters in attendance.
One of our favorite traditions year after year is the vow ceremony. All activities close down for a 15-minute program. “The sweetest and most memorable time of the entire event is when the dads are told to hold the hand of their daughter and look into their eyes and tell them how special they are to them, and grateful that God placed them in their life,” says Debbie. “They promise to love, protect, guide, listen and pray for their daughters. The daughters tell their dads that they are grateful that God placed them in their lives. They thank their dads for protecting, guiding, teaching them grace and forgiveness and helping them realize that they matter to God. The tears that flow from dads, daughters, and all watching is something that will never be forgotten.”
Saturday morning, 180 of you came out bright and early to work on 12 different projects that give back to our community. We had some incredible stories come out of Serve Day. Volunteer Jo said she felt God’s presence during morning worship, it was amazing to see everyone come together for others.
Jo said she would highly recommend Serve Day in the future. “It was a great way for my 5-year-old daughter and me to spend the morning together helping others. She was so excited to be able to help and got happy after each accomplished job!” said Jo. “Great for families and seeing everyone working so hard together to get the church cleaned up and set back up!”
Another volunteer, Michele, shared how she loved the opportunity to fellowship with her Northland family. “One of the things I enjoy so much about serve day is the opportunity to meet other Northlanders who are serving alongside me,” says Michele. ”While I was pulling weeds on Saturday, I had the opportunity to work alongside Sarah whom I hadn't known before Saturday. We were able to share stories about church, work, and life.”
Serve Days are always so special. It is an opportunity to watch firsthand as God moves throughout our community. We love coming together as a church family to worship, fellowship with each other, and roll up our sleeves to serve others.
Saturday night, hundreds of high schoolers, middle schoolers, and adult volunteers joined together with the special needs community to bring heaven to earth. As each guest of honor is called by name and escorted down the red carpet, we get to take in a small glimpse of what heaven will be like as we are called by name and celebrated as wonderfully and beautifully made by our Creator. Throughout the night, they dance, sing, worship, eat and laugh together!
One parent of an attendee said, "I am thankful to God and Access Ministries to welcome us and love me and my son. They help us in making our faith stronger and showing the miracles of God through my son!"
Thank you to everyone who made all of these events possible. You all made a great impact on so many lives. You can view photos from each event on our Facebook page.