Lots of Walnut Hill is a ministry to connect our church and the neighborhood. Visitors could join us without feeling any pressure and we could start meeting our neighbors in a unique way. We already had Trunk or Treat and theLive Nativity, so we decided to add three more. That year, we launched Pets on the Hill and The Car & Bike Show. The comments we received from these events were amazing! Visitors were telling us "I didn't know this church was here", "Do you have a choir?" and "My wife and I were the second couple married in your sanctuary. We haven't been back, until today."
Last year we launched the Walnut Hill Art Festival. The idea is to showcase great local artists including the local schools. Cigarroa Elementary jumped at the opportunity. (This year will include Thomas Jefferson and WT White High Schools!)
I was one of the judges for the Cigarroa artwork. Upon entering the art room at the school, I was surrounded by colorful blue faces. The art teacher at Cigarroa, Mr. Trolinder, explained that the students were making portraits in the style of Pablo Picasso's Blue Period for the
festival. As we reviewed the art, Mr. Trolinder said the students had become excited about the chance to show their work. There were even plans for an afterschool art program to prepare for the 2016
festival. This was beyond my best dreams. The students had taken the encouragement of being part of the show to release their talents and produce creative and eye-catching work. On the day of the art festival, I got the chance to meet one of our ribbon winners. While he was a little shy about receiving the award, his family was beaming with pride.
I love the idea of Going Deeper into our community. Walnut Hill has been a good resource for our local public schools, and now we are
becoming a trusted partner. Our encouragement of the students and teachers is making a difference in their education and opening up
possibilities of a more positive future for themselves and their families.