Thank You for Making the West Virginia Mission Festival a Success!

By Pastor John Castricum

On behalf of everyone at First Church, Congregational in Bedford, I would like to thank the entire Bedford community – and beyond – for helping to make our first West Virginia Mission Festival a great success.

We were overwhelmed by the generosity and support of so many businesses and individuals in the community. Thanks to everyone who contributed goods and services, as well as the many people who came and enjoyed the music, food and fellowship. All who attended agreed it was an uplifting event.

All proceeds from the festival – more than $5,000 – will be going to our West Virginia mission partners:

  • The Appalachian South Folklife Center
  • The Wade Center for Children
  • Open Heart Ministries
  • RiffRaff Arts Collective

These organizations do amazing work, restoring homes, helping at-risk children, providing food and housing for the homeless, and fostering a new culture of hope for an area in West Virginia with serious economic and social problems.

The Mission Festival included outstanding performances by Appalachian musicians, great West Virginian food, children’s activities, a Cake Walk, and many opportunities to learn more about the rich culture and current challenges facing West Virginia.

Although we have not discussed future plans, we are hoping this was the first of many Mission Festivals we offer at First Church.

Again, many thanks to everyone – we truly appreciate your support!

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