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September 10, 2015 - 

There was no football game, but that didn’t stop members of First Christian Reformed Church of Oskaloosa, Iowa, from holding their own tailgate party. The church hosted a parking lot praise service to kick off its fall programs—and to celebrate the start of football season. Attendees were encouraged to bring their pickups and their lawnchairs.

“It’s amazing how those little things you do will bring someone to church, just because it creates a whole different atmosphere,” said organizer Cyndi Fynaardt of the church’s worship team. “Coming into the church building can feel uncomfortable for our neighbors. In a more casual setting, people don’t feel too intimidated to come.”

About 250 people showed up for the evening service, more than three times the number of people who normally attend an evening worship service.

“The Lord blessed us with wonderful weather,” said Fynaardt. “There was no wind to blow the music away!”

The church served hot dogs, pork burgers, and chips—and for dessert, ice cream sundaes with a an array of toppings.

People in Oskaloosa seem to like their ice cream. Fynaardt says that attendance is always up when the church hosts “Second Sunday sundaes” during the summer months.

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