Small church hosts first event

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, September 12, 2015

Riverbend Church, a non-denominational church in North Suffolk, will holding its first community event from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Bennett’s Creek Square.

“I’ve lived in Suffolk five years, (and) I only know a couple of my neighbors,” said Jami Simon, a member at Riverbend Church since January. The main goal of the event is to build community, she said.

Prior to planning the event, Pastor Bobby Hill realized that many people didn’t know about the church, said Riverbend member David Evans. Hey Suffolk! will help in “getting to know the community, and the community getting to know us,” he added.

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“The church is small, but the event goals are large,” Evans said. The Suffolk church has been around for only a few years, and the congregation has been in its building for only nine months, Simon said. About 130 people attend the church, Evans said.

Both Simon and Evans became involved with Riverbend shortly after the opening of the new building, and both were invited by friends.

An estimated 50 percent of the congregation is volunteering to help plan and run the event, Simon said. Members have tasks from heading up parking, to running the children’s activities to sitting at the welcome table and more.

The church also hopes to help people by tending to their “spiritual and outreach needs,” with outreach including things such as food and clothing, said Evans. There will be a community outreach tent where guests can go for help.

Guests can also enjoy playing on bounce houses and “gamer trucks,” riding ponies and enjoying a petting zoo, among other free activities. Food will also be available for sale.

Music will be featured at the event. Multiple genres and styles of music will be performed, including a selection by a military band.