In preparation of this weekend’s much anticipated City Fest, Oregon Faith Report asked the Luis Palau Association a few questions.
Q: Once City Fest has concluded what goals do you hope your event will help accomplish?
A: For the first time, the Season of Service component of a Luis Palau festival was at the center of our festival efforts. In partnership with cities, businesses, agencies and churches, the Season of Service model had an initial goal of 15,000 volunteers who would commit and serve in projects involving hunger and homelessness, the environment, the medically uninsured, the schools and the environment. By festival weekend, well over 25,000 volunteers will have served, laying the groundwork for a long-termed, sustained program of service and outreach from the church to the community. We can look to the future and Season of Service 2009 with optimism and joy.
Other benefits we hope to see include a new or renewed awareness of the “good news” of the Gospel and of God’s relevance to each and every life. We pray participants will benefit from the training and experience as festival counselors and volunteers, and from working together with other Christians across denominational lines. We hope people will begin asking vital questions about life and lifestyles, and that a climate is produced for calls to justice and integrity at all levels of civic and family life. As thousands of new believers begin putting their personal, family, and vocational lives in order, society can be changed for the better.
We pray the community enjoys a free, family-friendly festival that is professionally produced, safe and secure, and drug and alcohol free. We pray thousands will hear the Good News of salvation through Christ and that they respond, connect with counselor, develop ties with a church, and begin a joyous walk of faith.
Q: What challenges do you face?
A: The logistical challenges are considerable, from a high-tech stage show to transportation and public safety. The closure of the Steel Bridge and rerouting of many MAX lines, plus the Hood to Coast run through downtown, also offer some challenges. We’re Oregonians, so the show will go on rain or shine – lightning, probably not. The festival is completely funded through the support of corporations, churches and individuals, and we’re pleased that the $2.2 million budget is almost all in.
Q: How many churches and volunteers do you have involved?
A: 612 churches, 1957 volunteers for CityFest, 2100+ counselors trained, 25,422 Season of Service volunteers
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