Detroit Burns Church, on Detroit's east side, held its 17thannual community Ice Cream Fellowship on July 20.
It was a hot summer afternoon with temperatures reaching 92 degrees, a perfect day to enjoy a hearty scoop of ice cream and fellowship with the inner-city community.
Detroit Burns Church held its 17th Annual Ice Cream Fellowship (ICF) on July 20 on the eastside of Detroit.
Attendance has typically ranged between 200 to 300 people, mainly from the community. This year’s event was attended by 223 people, including 119 children and teens, with more than 100 guests from the community.
The church offered more than a dozen delicious flavors of ice cream, including non-sugar and non-dairy varieties.
The ICF event provided opportunity for community kids to sign up for vacation Bible school (VBS), highlighting exciting activities which included: food, fun, games, gifts and bicycle give-a-ways. In all, 52 kids signed-up for VBS!
Health professionals from the Burns Church set up a literature table, offering a multitude of helpful healthy tips on dieting and exercising, along with free blood pressure screening tests.
Rosemary Jackson, church secretary, along with several members of the deacon board and ICF teams, set up tables to distribute tracts, books and other literature as well as DVDs on Bible prophecy. Forty-nine adults signed-up for Bible studies via on-site church classes, in-home, small groups, online and mail correspondence.
More than 170 books, magazines and other literature were distributed with interesting, relevant Bible topics including: Bible Prophecy, Mark of the Beast, U.S.A. in the Bible, Second Coming of Christ, Judgment Day, and others.
Special thanks to Dale Galusha, president of Pacific Press Publishing Association, for donating hundreds of Adventist magazines, books, pamphlets, and other publications for all 17 years.
The attendees were invited to various upcoming events at Burns, such as: “Handel’s Messiah Christmas Concert,” “Countdown to Eternity,” “Daniel and Revelation seminars,” and “Happy Family seminars.”
The Burns’ music department provided live, uplifting music for the ICF event. Different groups and soloists rendered sweet, inspirational songs of praise to complement the ice cream and liven up the crowd.
A prayer corner was set up and staffed by Pastor Eric Bell, Sr. and elders of Burns Church for community guests who desired prayer for special needs. “It was a great day for God and for touching the community with the ministry of kindness,” says Bell.
Several guests from the community expressed how much they appreciated this annual event and the warm friendly atmosphere while mingling with the Burns Church family.
“I have a good time and I appreciate all the church does for the community,” says David James, an attendee. “It has been a blessing to the community. I have been to every ice cream fellowship for the past 17 years.”
Another attendee, Connie Allen, says, “I enjoyed myself each year I have come, and it’s better each time!”
Special guests who also attended the event included: Clifford Jones, president of Lake Region Conference, and Carmela Monk-Crawford, editor-in-chief of Message magazine, who offered the community guests a free one-year digital subscription!
“The Ice Cream Fellowship, especially on a hot, summer afternoon, is a refreshing redefinition of evangelism,” says Jones. “What a meaningful way to impact the community for Christ! We’re told that before Jesus bade people to follow Him, He mingled with them, met their needs, and won their confidence. Thank you for drawing close to the people and connecting with them.”
Burns Church is very active in promoting health and hope through community engagement by hosting new and innovative evangelistic events. The Burns’ mission statement is, “To Build Relationships that Lead People to Jesus Christ.”
Doris Gothard, member of Burns and who serves as Lake Region Conference’s Women’s Ministry director, along with her husband Donald Gothard, has sponsored the Ice Cream Fellowship for the past 17 years.
Tim Gardner is a local elder and key facilitator of the ICF event at Burns for the past 17 years.