You might recall that during the summer of 2021, the elders initiated “Summer Pop-Ups” – an old-school flash-mob-type of event where someone might be going somewhere or doing something and invited anyone to join them that wanted to, by sending an email to those that had opted-in to the email account. These events were anything from miniature golfing, to going to the park / beach, to getting ice cream to celebrate a birthday.

Well: Outreach Pop-Ups! is here and similar in that if someone has an idea for a way to serve our neighbors or community and show God’s love, they can email the Outreach Pop-Up! account to let people know. Those that opt-in to the email account receive the email, and where passion / calling / schedule / availability all align, a group of First Free-ers would participate in the event together, flash-mob style.

Ideas for what these one-time events could look like are practically infinite – it could be: delivering cards or cookies to a hospitalized friend, a Flower-Planting Brigade at Rosehill Cemetery; shoveling the sidewalks for an entire street after a snow storm; picking up litter on a block(s) of Andersonville; delivering hand-warmers to USPS postal workers before their routes; installing beautiful plantings in a turn-about; making “care-packages” for others at First Free to hand out to people on street corners; painting the wood fence of a vacant lot; + many. many other things. Use your creative imagination!

While a “Pop-Up” is intended to be a one-time event, it’s not difficult to imagine these events turning in to longer-term opportunities. These would also be opportunities to develop connections with the community – so not necessarily anonymously serving but (for instance) working with the Alderman to get approvals where appropriate, or a Chamber of Commerce if germane, or making a leaflet to put in mailboxes to let people know who shoveled their walks and telling them that they’re loved, etc.

It is our hope and prayer that missional outreach groups from First Free would be characterized by meeting on-site (or near-site) for a brief devotion and prayer, and then volunteering together to serve our neighbors well, and lovingly – being mindful that opportunities for offering to pray for each other (and others!) exist, especially as relationships are built.

If you would like to opt-in to the Outreach Pop-Ups! email group, or if you would like to organize an Outreach Pop-Up! yourself, click on the button below to get more information.