East Ridge United Methodist Church is hosting a Community Block Party April 16, providing a chance for neighbors to become friends.
"This is really a Community Block Party that just happens to be held at East Ridge UMC," said the Rev. Ken Sauer. "The goal of East Ridge UMC is to be the church for this community. This block party is an opportunity for the community to get together and get to know each other and for us to get to know them."
The Block Party is a free event and will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Parking will be available at Duncan Park Baptist Church, located at 1617 Glowmont Drive, as well as at East Ridge Bicycles, located at 5910 Ringgold Road.
Many local bands and singers will perform. Several guests, like Chris McDaniel, formerly of Confederate Railroad and currently an evangelist who works with East Ridge UMC, will share stories about overcoming addiction and hardship. Drag racer Eric Gullett, sponsored by Coker Tire, will bring his race car to the event as well.
Free food donated by area businesses including Wally's, Little Caesar's, Dominos, Subway, Hardy's and several others will be available. Children can play on inflatables while adults enter to win door prizes like a new flat-screen television or a bicycle. There will also be health screenings and community information available.
"A big part of Jesus Christ's ministry was breaking down walls between people," said Sauer, who said he wants to break down walls between the church and its neighbors. "If the church is going to close itself off then it doesn't seem like the church is doing what it should be doing."
Following the block party, participants are invited to attend East Ridge UMC's Holy Week services, starting with Palm Sunday worship April 17.