BAINBRIDGE – The second annual Praise in the Park Christian Music Festival is slated to begin at 4 p.m., July 27 and will continue through July 28 at the General Clinton Park, Route 7, Bainbridge.
According to Pastor Gary Kubitz of the Afton United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church of Bainbridge, last year’s event was small - with some local Christian bands and a few vendors.
Said Kubitz, “At the end of the event last year, the feedback we received was very positive, and people encouraged us to make the event bigger and better, so we are doing just that.”
The churches Kubitz serves began to explore different methods of reaching out to the community in both mission and service. Kubitz said the discussions held began as a means to do some fundraising, but said God had other plans. One of the members of the congregation suggested organizing and holding a music festival, and while Kubitz thought it was a great idea, he said he expressed concerns regarding size - thinking it might be a little big for the size of the churches.
“I thought of those first disciples who had much more to lose than we do by stepping out and taking a risk, and I encouraged the group to explore the idea further,” stated Kubitz, who added the group stepped away from the fundraiser idea and opted for ministry and outreach.
Added Kubitz, “As I reflect on our growth, I am reminded of a statement that is familiar to most United Methodists, ‘Open minds, open hearts, open doors.’ In our American society today, we tend to think about this from the inside out. We think that because our doors are open, people are going to come on in. Sometimes we forget that the doors are open so that we can go out.”
He said with the Praise in the Park festival the members of the group are doing just that: leaving the building they call the church and opting to “be the church.”
The theme of this year’s event is “Tell Your Story.” As his ministry grows, Kubitz said they hope to tell God’s story through their own experiences, music and fellowship. He added the event is for both lifelong Christians as well as those who are curious about Jesus...