Outdoor service evolves into festive food fair
Family Life Church will hold its Taste of FLC event on Sunday
In the span of six years, Family Life Churchs annual outdoor service has grown from burgers and hot dogs in the parking lot to a food carnival and open community event more reminiscent of Portlands Bite of Oregon.
The annual amalgamation of outdoor worship service, foodstravaganza and community open house is now known as Taste of FLC and will return Sunday.
Weve just gotten bigger, faster, stronger, a lot more food and a lot more people from outside coming in, board member Andrew Yinger said. We just like to say its a welcoming experience for people who just want to come and have some good food and certainly for those searching for a church, have a spiritual foundation and want to come worship with us.
Yinger has organized the food portion of the event since its inception, drawing on his training as a chef and the 18 years he worked in the food business in places like New York, Chicago and Florida.
Catering to me is kind of second nature, Yinger said. Event planning is something I did for years. Ill always throw together and put something in one of the tents, a dessert or a main course, to eat while were doing it and then help organize the event.
Yingers experience as a professional and with the Family Life Church congregation has helped him develop a sense for potential holes in the menu, leading him to recruit church members to round out whats offered each year.
The selection has grown to include things like egg rolls, curry-based sauces and other traditional Filipino dishes prepared by one family, as well as jambalaya and spicy Cajun food from another.
Traditional American fare, often family favorites like chili and casseroles, usually fill out the menu.
Between truffles and treats provided by a chocolatier in the congregation and cupcakes from a professional baker, dessert has been well covered in recent years.
The event will also feature live music from the FLC worship team, which will be joined by several professional musicians from around the area.
Theres great music that has really amped up, so were doing some really cool, more contemporary music, which makes it more fun, Yinger said. Really, its just a carnival atmosphere; you can come and relax, bring your kids, be comfortable and have some conversations.
The event is especially family friendly and will feature a blow-up slide, outdoor toys, games and tropical decorations for kids, who have the option to stick to traditional childrens favorites like macaroni and cheese, pizza and hot dogs or be more adventurous and give the food booths a try.
We say that childcare isnt provided, but we have teachers and people around that are part of the kids ministry and will help do some babysitting while people are enjoying having adult conversations, Yinger said.
A component of the event is to allow members of the community to get a feel for the church and congregation in a pressure-free environment.
Well talk about the love of God and the spirit of Jesus when its appropriate, Yinger said. Its not considered an evangelical outreach so much as an embracing of the community. But as a result Im a part of the childrens ministry also weve gotten some great families with a lot of kids that have been part of the fun, then they come back to check it out again.
The day will kick off with worship service at 10 a.m. before the food, music and fun get going shortly before noon.
For more information, call the church at 503-538-3181 or send an email to info@myflc. org.