I now can finally give the correct answer: “Yes, I’ve been to the Steele County Free Fair!”
That’s been one of the first three questions that I’ve been asked since we arrived in Owatonna: “Have you been to the fair? Are you planning on going?”
I have to admit, that as someone recently stepping in to this community, the allure of the county fair was kind of a mystery to me. (Don’t tell anyone at home that I said this, but the Hennepin County Fairgrounds were just a mile from the congregation I served, and the fair there was….unimpressive.)
But now I’ve seen the Steele County Fair, and I understand. (I was actually there twice yesterday). And last night, Lori, the boys and I wandered the fairgrounds and spent significant time up and down the Midway.
Yes, it was awesome.
The food, the rides, the food, the music, the food, the exhibits, the food…we wandered around for just under 5 hours and we had a great time. I’m certain we’ll be back. Yes, probably every day. (Why wouldn’t we?)
But the thing that was the most fun for me to watch were the reunions. People walked throughout the fair and ran into each other. I overheard the beginning of this conversation about a hundred times last night: <people hug> “Ooohhhh…so good to see you! How has your summer been?”
It made me realize that while the other stuff is really, really good (food) the real reason people come to the fair is just to be together. The same was true for us. We ran into so many people last night who we’d met over the weekend (and even remembered a few of their names!) and we met even more people. It was really fun.
Here’s a truth: People like to gather. We seek community.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
God created us to be in community. By nature, we are communal beings. Our brains are hard-wired for relationships.
I’ve seen that at Trinity. This past weekend I saw people walk in the doors of the congregation, see friends, smile and hug. It is a joy to watch and to be a part of. I’m so excited to see this sense of community continue to grow as the connections increase. Thank you for entering into each others lives and for sharing the love of Christ. Let’s continue to grow this community together!
See you this week at church…and at the fair!