Tonight a lot of our team is with the Lake house throwing a block party for the neighborhood. It's become a regular tradition each year, with a lot of neighbors and neighborhood kids showing up and looking forward to the fun, silliness, food, and candy. Last year, the party slid down the road from the Lake house itself to nearby Ragan Park. Now it's even bigger than before, and there is so much room to spread out and set up hoola hooping, caricatures, face-painting, and whatever else brings a smile to people's faces.
We still have the Banquet to serve tonight, so Andrew has corralled half a dozen or so friends to cover for our regular team who will be setting up the block party. Holidays are a crazy time, but we never want to let the celebrations keep us from our most basic service to our neighbors. Because it's also our most reliable way to get to know each other, and to build relationships. And that's what we're all about.
As it turns out, InterVarsity is all about that, too. The students of IV at the University of Tampa and Hillsborough Community College are teaming up with us to do a creative type of Halloween outreach. Students will be going door to door trick-or-treating, but instead of asking for candy, they will be asking for donations of food, clothing, or other supplies for the Well to give out to our people on the streets. It seems like an unlikely way to connect people who have with people who could sorely use, but it makes sense to us. It's a great way for them to meet the neighbors and a great help to our neighbors on the streets. Here's what the students will be giving to each house on a card, it explains the idea better:
What other night can people go from house to house, knocking on doors and be met with smiles, hospitality, and generosity? It is a night when our culture opens our doors and lives to strangers and to children without concern for the masks that they wear, and offers good things just for stopping by.
We chose to use this great tradition of trick-or-treating to knock on your door on behalf of the hungry in Tampa. Thank you for opening your door to us and for your generosity tonight.
Tonight we remember Jesus' words, "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.'"
Thank you for opening you doors to us.
So much is coming together tonight, and so many people, too. This is gonna be awesome.