Column: In every direction

Colleen Burrs

BY COLLEEN BURRS
GUEST COLUMNIST

Ten years ago, Rockpoint held its first service ever in its current Lake Elmo building, which is nestled in the middle of a cornfield on the south side of Highway 36 and Keats. Despite the fact that we are in the middle of a cornfield, and only recently added a sign visible from 36, many have decided to make Rockpoint their home church over the last decade. One of our primary goals, as a church, is to add value to our community by leveraging our resources to serve the people of the St. Croix Valley in every direction — east, west, north, and south.

The Bible describes a feast in heaven as having guests from every direction: “And people will come from all over the world — from east and west, north and south — to take their places at the feast in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:29, NLT)

While the passage is emphasizing more of a global perspective, for us the pursuit of serving globally starts by first serving our community — to the east, and the west, the north and the south.

To the east

We have begun to install an additional parking lot. This may seem inconsequential and not an act of service to the community but, nonetheless, our current parking situation has been over capacity for more than a year. To those visiting our church, the message a full parking lot sends is, “You’re not important enough for us to make room for you.” Sadly, we know some visitors have left in frustration before even getting out of their car. Being a welcoming place that receives visitors like old friends is such a priority at Rockpoint that our congregation raised enough money to fully fund an additional parking lot. It took just five months to reach the goal.

To the west

Our annual Corn Maze (which opens Saturdays, Sept. 16 through Oct. 7) combined with our Fall Festival, continue to gain traction as fun community events open to all during early fall. The Corn Maze allows us to provide a free, family-friendly activity for our community. We see these as ways to provide opportunities for families and multiple generations to share experiences together and make memories that will last a lifetime.

To the north

Beginning last year, we created a community garden that’s open to all in the community. This year the garden hosted 85 garden plots, giving us the opportunity to get to know many immigrant families in our area, while providing them with a place to grow food for their families. The goal of the community garden is an example of our strategy to add value to our community: to find areas of need and opportunity within the community and meet the needs with the resources God has provided us.

To the south

We are in the process of gearing up for our annual Fall Festival (Sept. 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) which is primarily located on our campus’ south lawn. Our community is important to us, and we care and want to provide family experiences that are fun. When people come to the festival, they get to see the beauty of the world God created, experience laughter in the fun of the celebration, hear live music, play games and so much more.

These are a few of the recent examples of some of the tangible things that we as a church are doing to serve our community. Our ultimate goal is not to receive praise from others — it is to be obedient to who God calls us as the church to be: his hands and feet in the world.

Colleen Burrs is a communication specialist at Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo.