The smell of cotton candy wafting through the air.  A child’s face covered in chocolate ice cream.  People blurring together in a sea of red, white, and blue.  Before the first firework ever cracked, this year’s Fourth of July celebration proved once again to be the best community event in Pullman, Washington.  From the annual Fabulous Kingpins show to the thrilling display of fireworks, Pullman knows how to put on a party to celebrate our nation.  Maja Olson, a life-long Pullmanite and WSU sophomore, “loved witnessing the community come together and celebrate. Everyone was in high spirits and festive moods.” There’s something sweetly nostalgic about an entire city gathering at a park to play. 

Not only did we play, but Resonate Church also gathered to serve.  If there’s one thing Resonate loves more than a party, it’s serving our friends at the party. This year, we had even more people than last year give their time to chaperone bouncy houses, give gator (mini tractor) rides, direct parking, and scoop ice cream.  We got to watch 4–, 5–, 6–year–olds’ eyes get bigger and bigger as we mounded melting ice cream onto cones for their delight. That’s what makes the Fourth of July the Fourth of July: putting aside social norms, kicking off your heels, and simply enjoying time with friends, family, and community.

While Resonate may be a church that targets college students, our hope is to love our entire city and serve our community therein.  Sometimes it’s easy to focus on students and forget about the families living in the area, but Jesus hasn’t called us only to affect the students.  Darkness has enveloped the Palouse for far too long and Jesus wants to bring light to the community and He’s allowed us to join Him in this work.  While hanging out at Fourth of July or Lentil Festival may not seem like a gospel opportunity, serving selflessly opens windows for conversations about why we do what we do.

Our prayer is for Pullman and Moscow to be known as places where Jesus reigns.  Not only do we hope students will discover that He is the only one who satisfies, but we hope that we can be a part of the transformation of our communities.  We pray that light will flood the darkness in these cities, and if serving ice cream or directing parking means being this light, then we will be first in line to help.