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Coming together again: Church in the Park to unite congregations this weekend

July 24, 2013

The worship team is shown celebrating the sixth annual Church in the Park service last year in Barclay Square. The seventh annual service — which lasts all weekend with a variety of events — starts Friday with Movie in the Park and runs through Sunday. (File photo by Larry McGuire of The Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — It will be a big weekend in Barclay Square and at Harmon Field, as many of the Punxsutawney churches are once again joining to celebrate Church in the Park Friday through Sunday.

Peggy McQuown, Church In the Park publicity director, said activities will be held at both locations throughout the weekend and will include activities such as a family movie, FamilyFest and a church service. She said the Movie in the Park will jump start the weekend events on Friday at 8:30 p.m.

"This year’s free movie will be ‘We Bought A Zoo,’ a movie that is appropriate for all ages," McQuown said, adding that there will
be food, drinks and lots of fun.

In case of rain, the event will be held at the Punxsu-tawney Area High School auditorium.

McQuown said on Saturday, everyone is invited to join in an afternoon of Bible stories, games, crafts and food at “FamilyFest,” a new activity for the Church in the Park coordinators in 2013.

The HayDay Vacation Bible School will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Harmon Field, with the rain location as the Punxsutawney Christian School gym, she said.

The weekend wraps up with the church service in the park on Sunday morning, and the community service angle for this year’s event is
contributing to stocks at local pantries and shelters that have been in use a lot this year with the flooding and other events taking place.

"The culminating activity for the weekend will be Church in the Park at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday,” McQuown said. "Please bring one or more items to be donated to local shelters and food pantries."

McQuown said laundry soap, dish soap, personal hygiene products, baby items, non-perishable foods, all sizes of T-shirts, socks and underwear are all needed.

The co-speakers for this year's event are two new pastors to Punxsy — Pastor Greg Smith, senior pastor at the First Church of God in Punxsy, and Rev. Paul Ritchey, senior pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Punxsy, she said.

McQuown said the rain location for Sunday is the PAHS auditorium, and those hoping to attend can check the park or listen to the radio for location changes.

She said the children’s service will once again be held during worship.
"During KidFest, children will hear Bible stories and will be able to participate in games, snacks and crafts in a safe and supervised environment," McQuown said.

Participants will have the opportunity to join in a fellowship lunch at the conclusion of the service, she said.

You must order your lunch ahead of time by contacting a sponsoring church or contacting First Church of God at 938-6670.

The selections include a chicken salad croissant, a ham salad croissant, or a Domino’s pizza lunch. Each lunch will include chips, a drink and a treat and will cost $6.

McQuown said “bring your lawn chairs and join us for this special community event.”

For more information, call the First Church of God at 938-6670.

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