PIQUA — Piqua churches came together for the 2015 Church Fair held over the weekend at the Miami Valley Centre Mall. During the mall hours on Friday and Saturday, there were booths of area churches from end to end handing out information on their churches as well as free crafts, games, and food. The food court also featured worship singers and bands from the churches.
“You smile at people, and they smile back,” Juanita Ventura of St. Mary Catholic Church said. Ventura was watching the table for St. Mary and St. Boniface Catholic Churches for a portion on Saturday. St. Mary’s and St. Boniface churches each recently got new hymnals, so they were passing out some of the older hymnals during the Church Fair.
“I don’t push religion,” Ventura said. “I think friendliness is important.”
Near the St. Mary and St. Boniface Catholic Churches tables, St. John’s Lutheran Church of Piqua was handing out information about their church and how they interact with the community both locally and globally. Locally, they worship with residents in assisted living facilities, support the Bethany Center, sponsor two rummage sales annually, and continue to find other manners to be active in the area. Globally, they contribute to Lutheran World Relief and sponsor missionaries.
Further down the line, there were lounge chairs set up for Piqua’s United Pentecostal Church. Greg Bucklew of United Pentecostal said on Saturday that the Church Fair had been going “pretty good.” Bucklew explained that he was talking to people both about God and about his church.
Over at the Central Baptist Church’s booth, Tom and Cheryl Gustafson were telling people about some of the activities that the church does, including family-based events like ice cream socials after worship. They were also handing out pamphlets in addition to crayons, stickers, and booklets for children.
“I think that’s good,” Cheryl Gustafson said about Central Baptist Church getting involved the Church Fair once again. “I think they need to reach into the community.”
“I think it’s a nice idea,” Barbara Wheeler of Our Savior Lutheran Church said about the Church Fair. Wheeler also sang in the food court on Saturday morning with another church, which was something she had never done before.
“It was a good experience,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler was helping handout information about Our Savior Lutheran Church, along with free bottles of water. “We’re open for anyone,” Wheeler said about their church. “We hope that families come and start believing.”
Wheeler also mentioned that Our Savior is a Bible-based church, believing that the Bible is the true word of God.
St. James Episcopal Church had representatives out at the mall. Krista and Sandy Abernathy, along with Mary Newlin, were sharing with others about the different missions that they have to offer on early Saturday afternoon. One of the popular local missions was the prayer shawls that they knit.
According to Krista Abernathy, anyone is welcome to come knit prayer shawls with the church on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. They will also teach others how to knit if they do not know how. The shawls then get donated. In the past, they have gone to the cancer center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the VA hospital, nursing homes, senior centers, and individuals.
Also at the Church Fair was the Piqua Association of Churches, the Piqua Church of the Brethren, Victory Baptist Church, Snyder Road Church of God, Transformed Life Church, Madison Avenue Church of God, Freedom Life Ministries, Trinity Church, Piqua Apostolic Church and Christian Schools, Cyrene A.M.E., Fully Pardoned Jail Ministries, and others.
Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall