Participating in the Arlington, Washington, street fair has become an annual event for the Arlington Church. Members from the church have participated in this fair for many years, and according to the fair representative, they are greatly appreciated.
At this year's event, held July 8-10, 2022, 94 booths were rejected due to lack of space. On the first day of the fair, church volunteers were contacted to get applications in for the 2023 fair to make sure they had their space reserved.
Led by Dawn Hainey, approximately one-third of the Arlington Church members participated in manning the booth during the course of the event.
At every community event the Arlington Church participates in, members pass out literature like help pamphlets, worship aids and Bibles. They also conduct surveys to determine needs and any potential classes they could hold at the church. Balloon animals are made for the children, which often attract adults as well.
At this year's street fair, one parent shared that her children had been asking for two weeks about the "balloon people" and when they would be there.
At the board meeting following this year's event, Hainey presented a sizable stack of responses from individuals who responded to questionnaires. There were many requests for Bible studies and classes on how to stretch a food budget. These requests seemed the most urgent and the church is planning to offer them this fall.
Cristian Bobocea, Arlington Church pastor, is working with outreach members to determine the best way to hold Bible studies for such a large group of people. Ideas include one-on-one studies, group studies, online studies and combinations of the three to ensure all needs are met and no one who requested Bible studies will be turned away.
Arlington Church's positive impact at the street fair resulted in an invitation for the church to host a balloon booth for the city's National Night Out event on August 2. This served as another chance to meet the public, answer questions, as well as spread the Gospel to others who are seeking a closer walk with Jesus.