On Saturday, May 18, Grace Christian Church (GCC) in Waltham, MA held the second annual Kaleidoscope Festival. The Festival celebrates the beautiful diversity of our community and creates spaces to talk across man-made divisions. We set out to create a “bubble” of the kingdom where participants can experience the unity we have in Christ. GCC sponsors the event and coordinates all aspects of the festival. There were activities aimed at getting people to talk with their neighbors, and tables by community partners letting visitors know about community resources.
Additionally, the day was filled with fun activities, including face painting for children, a community mural illustrating visitors’ identities, a DJ, a performance by a youth African dance group, free food, an interactive art exhibit that captured people’s migration stories, a mobile petting zoo, and more! Most of these were donated or offered at a dramatically reduced cost. Prior to the festival, we worked hard to include community members outside of our congregation. We were blessed with several volunteers and community partners who helped to make the day possible. As a result, the event was a great success with about 200 of our neighbors participating.
The Kaleidoscope Festival has a significant positive impact on our church. As an annual event, the festival and the other outreach in which our church participates establishes a strong missional rhythm for our congregation. Participation in the work Jesus is doing gives us joy and purpose. It is also endearing us to our community. This year, several individuals and organizations asked if they could be a part of the festival because they want to support the message, and it is becoming a community fixture. Lastly, the nature of the Festival creates a safe space where we can talk about Jesus. While the event is secular, we have numerous instances of people asking members of our congregation about our faith. They are curious about what would compel us to do so much for our neighbors and ask for nothing in return. We then have the perfect opportunity to talk about Jesus and the free gift of life he offers.
We are thankful for what the Lord did at the Kaleidoscope Festival this year, and we look forward to what he will do in 2020!
Pastor, Grace Christian Church