I love the fair – and while some people go for the games and the rides or maybe even to see the animals – I go to watch the people and how they care for each other as well as their livestock! And my favorite thing is how families and friends of family gather together and pitch in to make it possible. For instance, this past weekend, I got to watch a brother help their younger brother carry water. I got to see a sister help her older sister with their cow. I got to watch as people won awards and ribbons and to know that the only way this happened was because grandpa and grandma were there to help make it happen.

In fact, at one time this past weekend, I was standing ringside with Cheetos in my hands (which were covered in orange) and someone handed me a grand champion trophy so they could “take the reins when it comes out.” So I am balancing a trophy, Cheetos, and trying not to smudge orange – all while watching a youth do their best with a creature they love as their grandpa gets ready to help them out of the ring!

And to me this is fair! It’s one family helping another. It’s showing up across the generations to share wisdom and to mentor each other. It’s pitching in together to help make it all possible because fair – and the moments that lead up to fair – make the world a better place – and teach our children things like responsibility and discipline, love and loss, and that family is more than just blood but a way of relating and caring for each other.

And to me – this is my hope for church. Because church is more than a community of individuals that happen to worship together. We are a family that gets to share knowledge and wisdom with each other. We get to talk about where we have seen God and what God is like. We get to help one another grow in faith and in life and help each other through the bumps on the way. Because not everything is perfect in life, in the same way that not everything goes perfect at the fair! But we are in this together as God’s people. We get to live and learn, sharing and growing in faith together along the way! What a wonderful way to be church!