The Immanuel City Church held a Family Fall Festival in Cambridge, Ont., last weekend. The free event was open to the public and offered bouncy castles and face painting, snacks like popcorn and cotton candy, and live music, including rock band The Hillbrook Connection.
Roberto Ascencio Jr., a pastor at the church, was one of the people managing the event.
“We are promoting family, community and diversity. If we can have healthy families, we can have healthy communities. At a time when most churches are known for what they are against, we want to be known for what we are for. We are for broken families, we are for everyone,” Ascencio Jr. told SpokeOnline.
Kate Rockwell from Beacon Of Hope, a local anti-human trafficking organization focusing on education and awareness, had their own booth at the event.
“It is a very dark topic, but we want people to know what is going on in this area. Our goal is for people to be aware and protect themselves and the people around them. We are based in Cambridge, but we cover the entire Waterloo Region,” Rockwell said.
Rockwell further added that on Oct. 21, they will be hosting a seminar at the Immanuel City Church. The topic will cover human trafficking in the Waterloo Region.
Scott Howes was attending the event with his family. He said the only thing he did not like was the weather, other than that he added that there should be more events like this.
“You get to meet other people. Most of all it is free and you can’t beat that,” Howes said.
Chad Morrissey, another attendee, noticed the event by sheer coincidence.
“I was out looking at a vehicle. I was just driving by so I decided to stop to check it out. My dad used to be a drummer in the band that is performing here. So this all worked out nicely for me.”
Dave Sabola, one of the singers in the Hillbrook Connection band, was excited about being at the event. He said that classic rock never gets old.
“Our band has been around for almost 30 years. The pastor is a friend of ours and he asked us if we could play. We naturally said ‘yes.’ Playing keeps us young. I am a professional engineer. This is our hobby,” Sabola said.
This was the second time Immanuel City Church hosted the event, which had a good turnout and got busier throughout the day as the rain held off.
“We want to let people know that there is a church that cares for them, and that there is hope in the world,” said Ascencio Jr.