Like many people, Emily Moormeier loves fall. “I just think it’s such a magical time of year,” she says. But while most of us are celebrating fall by pulling sweaters and scarves out of the closet or buying the first of many pumpkin spice lattes, Emily is celebrating differently: she’s planning a Fall Carnival at Grace UMC on October 21 to benefit a playground improvement project at the Center of Grace.
The idea for the carnival began way back in June, when Emily was interning with the Grace Youth Ministry team. “I had noticed that we did have big programs in the spring, like Grace Extravaganza, but nothing in the fall. And then we had this meeting [with Children’s and Youth Ministry leaders and volunteers] that we called Ways to Engage the Family. And we brainstormed all these ideas and then at the end of the session everyone was encouraged to ‘take a handle’, like take an idea and run with it. And I picked the carnival!”
It seemed like no big deal, back in June when she was home for the summer from college. Now, she’s back in Manhattan, where she is currently a sophomore at K-State, and there’s lots to be juggled between school and work and planning the carnival. But Emily isn’t deterred.“I have a great team here at the church to help me, and they’ve really done so much. It’s been crazy, but it’s so good. I’m so excited to see it all come together.”
The carnival will feature face painting, balloon animals, inflatables, crafts, snacks, and of course trunk or treat, so there will be no shortage of activities to make the carnival a blast for kids of all ages. The thing that Emily is most excited about? “I think just seeing it all finished and happening will be so cool. Seeing the little kids enjoying everything we’ve worked to create for them, that’s going to be really amazing.”
It was also important to Emily and rest of the youth ministry team that the funds from the carnival go to support missions projects at the Center of Grace. The carnival has now been fully underwritten by generous members of our congregation, so all proceeds from the carnival ticket sales will go directly to playground improvements for the Migrant Family Preschool at the Center of Grace. “In a way, you know, it’s kind of like kids helping kids,” Emily says. “I really hope that parents tell their kids that the carnival is helping other kids have a place to play too. My parents always taught me that community service was so important growing up, and I hope the kids in our church get to experience that as well.”
Tickets for the carnival are on sale now and can be purchased online at graceumc.church/fall-carnival or by visiting the ticket table outside the coffee shop on Sunday mornings. When you get to the carnival, make sure to wave at Emily, and thank her for making her crazy idea come to life at Grace.