On Sunday, Oct. 14 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the campus of Morning Star Church will transform into The Great Pumpkin Festival. With activities such as hayrides, pumpkin decorating, a chili cook-off, pumpkin chunkin and bon fires to roast marshmallows, the Great Pumpkin Festival will appeal to individuals and families of all ages.
What will be noticeably absent that day, however, are people’s wallets. That’s what sets the Great Pumpkin Festival apart from similar festivals and events in the metro area: Rather than serving as a fundraiser, the event is completely free to the community.
“The Festival isn’t about the church; it’s about the community,” states Morning Star Church’s Lead Pastor Mike Schreiner. “This is our opportunity to extend radical hospitality and extravagant generosity to them.”
Since Morning Star Church opened its doors 13 years ago, they’re mission has been about reaching out into the community. With a “come as you are” culture, the church hopes to reach people who’ve given up on church as boring, irrelevant, out of touch, or a place that elicits shame and guilt. It seems to be working: Morning Star Church is one of the 100 largest United Methodist Churches in the country and is listed among the top 100 fastest growing congregations, according to the September 2010 issue of Outreach magazine. In June 2010, the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church recognized Schreiner’s outstanding leadership in this area by presenting him with the Harry Denman Evangelism Award.
Founded in 1999, Morning Star Church seeks meet people right where they are and helping them take their next step on their spiritual journey. Morning Star provides a wide variety of opportunities for spiritual and emotional growth, from support groups to classes, all of which are available to members as well as to the community. Under the leadership of Lead Pastor Mike Schreiner, Morning Star has grown from its initial attendance of 200 people to over 4,170 at 2012 Easter services. For more about Morning Star Church, visit www.mscwired.org.