Church is ready to celebrate
Now that their neighbors can finally get to their church, the members of New Heights Christian Fellowship are inviting everyone over for a party.
Like many of the residents on Walnut Street, the church was a little isolated over the summer as crews did a complete reconstruction of the road and the sewers that run beneath it. Church members had access to an alley behind the building, but there wasn't enough room back there for everyone. The lack of parking created issues for some people, especially older churchgoers who have trouble walking. Pastor Mike Barnett said attendance suffered over the summer.
"It was tough, because all the major roads to our church were closed off," Barnett said. "You couldn't get there through Walnut. You couldn't get there through fifth or sixth."
The church also lost out on people who might otherwise have decided to stop as they were driving by.
Now that construction is finished and the road has opened, things seem to be picking up.
"We're starting to see some families we haven't seen all summer," Barnett said. "Attendance is coming back the last couple of weeks. We have seen a spike in attendance. That's encouraging."
To celebrate, the church will hold a block party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. There will be a craft sale and pony rides, games and live bluegrass, country and rock music. The Farmington Fire Department will bring a fire truck for kids to explore and there are a number of other activities planned.
"It's just supposed to be a fun family event for all ages where families can come together," Barnett said. "Kids can have fun with the ponies."
There is no charge to attend, but the church will collect donations for the Farmington Food Shelf.
A number of local companies have donated prizes.
On Sunday, the church will hold a chili cookoff with prizes in a number of categories.
New Heights planned the celebration as a way to reach out to the community. Barnett figures after four months of road construction the church's neighbors will all be ready to to have some fun."We're just celebrating," Barnett said. "It's nice to find something to celebrate."