Arlington Enters Street Fair

August 27, 2015 | David Patrick

For the first time in its history, the Arlington (Wash.) Church entered a street fair as an outreach tool to the community. The Downtown Arlington Business Association sponsored its annual street fair July 10–12 at the same time as the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) fly-in. The EAA gathered at the Arlington Airport at the south edge of town. It is the second-largest gathering of planes and builders in the United States. The Adventist church's 10-by-10 booth was one of three churches represented out of hundreds of exhibits. 

Dawn Hainey, Arlington Church outreach coordinator, made the arrangements for a nonprofit booth where members could offer blood pressure checks for the adults, balloon animals for the kids, and cold water and literature for all. The goal of the booth was to take a survey of the community to find out their needs and interests. Each person who stopped was offered a questionnaire to fill out on interests, with a box to fill out if Bible study was wanted. 

During the three-day event, 21 church members and youth helped with manning the booth. Some of the dedicated youth were there making the balloon animals from 10 a.m. until closing at 6 p.m. each day. They gave out more than 500 balloons during the three days. 

The time invested resulted in 116 pieces of literature given out, including seven copies of Ministry of Healing and five Final Events DVDs. But the real blessing was the 14 Bible study requests. The other primary areas the community had interests were in financial peace, vegetarian cooking, marriage, parenting, stress management and Bible stories for kids. 

After tabulating the results, Hainey wondered, "Will we have enough people to handle all the Bible study requests?” The church family thinks so, and it is indeed a nice problem to solve.