Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hyde Park Festival

The task ahead of us is huge. We are seeking to reclaim and restore the inner cities of America for the glory of God. Luckily, He does most of the work. But having this vision leads us to many places, and gets us involved in a variety of activities. We hope to pastor the community, and there are innumerable ways to do that.

How about organizing a festival? It was never on our radar. But we go forward with a heart to serve, and this is the stuff that is laid before us. The Alderman of our ward has been putting on the Hyde Park Festival for many years, and it has had its ups and downs. Last year we participated in the festival. We had an informational booth, our missionaries played music, and we all helped with the labor. This year, as we have sought to work with various organizations in the area, we found ourselves meeting with the Alderman, discussing the festival. The idea was brought up to allow the non-profit organizations in the area work together in order to organize and carry out the festival. The Alderman agreed and our executive director, Dr. Terry Goodwin was voted as chairman of the festival.

So we have been organizing the Hyde Park Festival for a few months, with the help of other organizations and individuals in the neighborhood, including Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and ND Consulting. It will take place September 10 and 11, in Hyde Park. We have the theme of “Historic Past, Dynamic Present, Bright Future”, because we know that the history of our neighborhood is powerful, and it's something no one can take away. Our present is full of newer organizations, century old churches, long-time residents, those passing through, broken buildings, new developments, kids, families, firemen, police officers, schools, et cetera. There are ups and downs in any given day. And we are optimistic about the future, especially those of us at Sun Ministries, who are motivated by the love of Christ to serve this community.

This year we will again be doing a lot of labor. Our band of missionaries, Reformation Sound, will be playing music. We will display our Products with Purpose, and have a booth explaining our Opportunity Garden program. There will be live entertainment both days of the festival, including jazz, stomp exhibitions, rap, folk, r&b, dance. There will be artists, a kids' zone, health screenings, food vendors, a flea market, historic walking tours, and more.

We hope the festival will be a tool to move this neighborhood forward: to get the organizations working together, to bring in people from outside the area so they can see the struggle and progress being made in this historic community, to let the residents celebrate their neighborhood, and to promote the businesses, crafters, and service providers of the area.

If you are interested in being a vendor, or volunteering at the festival, contact Dr. Terry Goodwin at 636-544-2151 or You can also visit, or find Hyde Park Festival on Facebook.