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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Centerpoint Christian Fellowship reaches its neighbors with a day of music and fun

    October 2, 2017 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Nine years ago when Pastor Wayne Clemens was serving at Van Hornesville United Methodist Church, a lay person approached him with the idea to have a “Gospel Fest” at a beautiful park across the street. Pastor Wayne said, “We invited the community and had a great time.”

    Fast-forward six years later and Pastor Wayne is serving at Centerpoint Christian Fellowship, which is on 50 acres of land; Pastor Wayne put a lot of effort into having a pavilion built outdoors and developing a 1.25 nature trail that meanders through a forest.

    He decided to broaden the “Gospel Fest” idea, taking advantage of the beautiful outdoor space at Centerpoint. He said, “I brought the idea with me here to Centerpoint and changed it to Music Fest and instead of only having it be a concert; it’s a day-long event with all kinds of activities. It’s incredible that we can have it right here on the church grounds. We have 50 acres to work with!”

    Who could turn down a free day-long event with plenty of food, live music, and activities?

    During its first year, around 100 people from the community attended the event; for the second year, about 300 people attended the event. This year’s Music Fest, held on Saturday August 12, had over 500 people come out.

    Sharon Kellogg and her husband Earl have attended Music Fest since its first year. They would choose to attend Centerpoint if they weren’t so involved in their church. Sharon raved about the event: “Most of my friends work here. Amy works in the food tent. Diane works in the puppet tent. I know just about everybody here. I feel at home here. These people are wonderful here!”

    Children’s activities included puppet shows, face painting, pony rides, goats to pet, and more!

    Rev. Carl Getz from Trenton UMC and Saquoit Valley UMC combines Vacation Bible School from his churches with Centerpoint and also directs the children’s activities at Music Fest. This year he was dressed as Superman and was primarily seen in the puppet tent.

    Rev. Getz said, “I have been involved with Centerpoint since its beginning. I was in the group that helped plan this church. We enjoy being part of this; this is what we envisioned way back in the beginning. In some of the smaller churches, we  seem to be winding down and having less and less people, but here at Centerpoint, (events like this) seem to be catching on and we have more and more people (attending the church). It’s the place to be!”

    Pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, several varieties of chips, popcorn and all sorts of beverages were served---all day long!

    Booths were set up with everything from free Christian books to free backpacks loaded with school supplies for people in need.

    The music had people out of their chairs dancing and clapping. From blue-grass Christian, to Grammy-nominated Christian musician Rhett Walker’s performance, Music Fest was alive!

    Rhett Walker’s performance closed out the event at 7 p.m. Pastor Wayne said, “Having Rhett Walker come hang out with us literally in our own backyard was awesome. His humbleness was striking and seeing how God is using him with his music was so cool to witness.”

    Centerpoint’s Music Fest is one way in which Upper New York is achieving the mission of being God’s love with our neighbors in all places. Look out for the next issue of the Advocate, which will feature several stories of ways in which more individuals and churches from Upper New York are fulfilling this mission.

    Click here to watch a video of Centerpoint Music Fest.

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."