'Extreme' Community Fest to celebrate, promote service - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

'Extreme' Community Fest to celebrate, promote service

Released by Traci Sawyer with Rockin' C Ranch:

Who: Multiple organizations and individuals

When: Prayer vigil: Friday, February 26, 2010 – Thursday, March 3, 2010
Extreme Community Fest: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Where: We are the Body Prayer Chain:
Harvest Acres Baptist Church
460 NW Loop 564
Mineola, Texas 75773

Extreme Community Fest:
Mineola Middle School
1050 West Loop 564
Mineola, Texas 75773

What: 7 Day Prayer Vigil followed by Community Celebration of Service to Others

On Friday, February 26th, members of multiple organizations from across the area will gather to kick off a week long celebration of individual sacrifice and service to others.  The week will begin with the launching of a daily prayer chain and conclude with a three hour community gathering honoring organizations that provide support and services for needy families.  Event organizers hope that this event will channel the spirit of service to others in need inspired by the Extreme Home Makeover effort in Mineola back into local communities after the makeover is over.

"We are hoping that the focus on the efforts of the Extreme Home Makeover team and volunteers to help one family in Mineola will shine a light on the needs of many families in the area and inspire a wave of community service and sacrifice across the region.  It doesn't matter what community the makeover happens in.  Everyone has the power to be a part of the spirit of what is going on with the makeover and make it come alive in their home community.  We will spend the week in prayer for those working on the site and after it is over we will come together so say – What can we do next?" said Traci Sawyer, one of the event organizers.

The We Are The Body prayer vigil will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 26 in the parking lot of Harvest Acres Baptist Church in Mineola and run until Thursday, March 4.  Various faith based organizations in the area will take responsibility for maintaining the vigil in 4 hour shifts.  Each organization will be responsible for organizing the prayer and worship activities during their time slot.  A prayer walk with seven prayer stations will also be available on site for individuals that want to stop by and participate individually.  Visitors are welcome to participate in the activities being conducted by the host organization as well as visit the self-paced prayer walk.  Ten churches and Christian organizations including Sky Ranch, Teen Mania, East Point Missionary Baptist Church, First Baptist Church Mineola, Hainesville Baptist Church, Bethel Worship Center Mineola, Harvest Acres Baptist Church, Garden Valley Bible Church, and Community Christian Fellowship have already signed up to host a four hour slot.  Event organizers welcome additional Christian organizations that would like to take responsibility for a shift.  Slots are available from Friday, February 26 through Thursday, March 4. 

The week will conclude with the Extreme Community Fest.  The event was organized to provide people in the area an opportunity to learn more about various organizations in the region that help people in need, thank them for their efforts and hopefully find opportunities to participate in supporting these organizations.  Organizers hope that this event will become an annual festival celebrating community service.

"It's an "ing" thing is the theme of the event," according to Chris Witt, one of the event organizers.  "Service is an active process and we want to pose the question, What are you do-ing?  There is a need for build-ing.  A need for feed-ing.  A need for listen-ing.  Teach-ing.  Giv-ing.  Pray-ing.  The list goes on and on.  This is what the home makeover is all about and we want to capture the energy that program brings to the region and pour it back into people in need in communities across the area. " 

A children's area filled with inflatables will also be provided in the gym so that parents will have the freedom to visit the booths during the Community Fest.  Several organizations including the East Texas Food Bank, Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County, Heart to Heart Hospice, East Texas Rescue Mission, Child Evangelism Fellowship, 4-H and Youth Development, Literacy Council of Tyler, Smith County Sheriffs Office, United Way, Mercy Ships, and Odyssey HealthCare of East Texas have already registered for the event.  Event organizers welcome any organization that exists to helping those in need in our region.

"We just want to highlight all the good things people are doing everyday for people in our region." said Mineola Middle School Science teacher and one of the event organizers, Susan Witt.  "We hope more organizations will join us and we really hope people will come out and tell them thank you for what they are doing and maybe even find a way to join their efforts in some small or maybe even very large way."

The festival will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Mineola Middle School.  The public is invited to come show your support for the organizations that do so much for those in need in our communities.

Individuals or organizations interested in participating in the prayer vigil or the Community Fest can contact the hotline at office at 903-266-3343 for more information.

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