It is Sunday June 3, 2018, Community Sunday for the village of Earlysville Virginia. This is the seventh annual community worship and picnic. The big top is up with several smaller tents for the 10:00 am worship service and the 3:00 pm picnic. Six local churches are participating and the community is invited. Unity has been a key word for 2018. Chestnut Grove Baptist Church adopted Community Unity as one of their major priorities. Pastor King put things in motion in January by inviting other local churches to participate in a Wednesday evening Life Together program. Dinner followed by a program has been the agenda. Members of Buck Mountain Episcopal, Chestnut Grove Baptist, Mount Zion Baptist and Pleasant Grove Baptist churches have been the major participants. We have discovered we may have different ways of doing things and we may be different colors but our objective is the same. As a result, many of us arrive today knowing and understanding each other and being friends.
Today we arrive on the Earlysville Green provided by the Rivanna Community Church under overcast skies and a forecast of rain. It appears that the big top will serve a different purpose than the usual shade in previous years. As people begin the gather there is greeting, happiness, laughter and a few hugs. The Worship Service began at 10:00 with music and song. There was prayer and scripture reading. Pastor Steve Miller, of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Advance Mills, delivered the message, a message that received four ovations. “If you are not following Jesus you had better change your direction.” We need to be a lighthouse for others to follow. The message was followed by Communion, song and prayer. There was an offering collected, the proceeds will be divided equally to the Earlysville Food Pantry and the Earlysville Fire Company.
Many hung around for a while talking and a few stayed on the set up tables and chairs under the big top, blow up strings of balloons and ready for the afternoon picnic. All of a sudden the skies open and the rain fell, the faucet was wide open for about an hour. With previous rain the ground could not absorb more, we were sounded in minutes by several inches of water. There will be no afternoon picnic on this day. An alternate plan was quickly placed into action. The picnic will be Monday evening at the Earlysville Fire Company. A group gathered Sunday evening and pulled the pork. Every avenue of communication was used to announce the change.
Now it is Monday evening and Raes Ford Road is a busy highway. The communications worked, a huge crowd is gathering for dinner. The parking lot is over flowing, cars are parked on the road. The food line runs along two walls and out the door. It stayed that way for over an hour as people continued to arrive. More tables and chairs were set up. There was plenty of food and everyone had a wonderful time. Some said more were served than the usual outside afternoon number. There was entertainment for children outside. This writer ventured into the kitchen, in a matter of minutes I was turning pork on the stove, pouring the excess juice from the beans and refilling the volunteer serving line. Quick thinking, quick action and volunteer help saved the day. A Community Sunday became a two day event.