Faith-Filled Autumn Fest

A Faith-Filled Autumn Fest

The morning of October 12 was brisk and the breeze was blowing and yet the sun was shining on our annual Autumn Fest open house at Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center (LOMC). LOMC has a long tradition of inviting everyone out to the beautiful property to celebrate God’s ministry in the outdoors. The day was full of activities to suit just about everyone:

  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Crafts
  • Apple Cider Pressing
  • Donut Fun Walk/Run
  • Bags Games
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Numerous Treats
  • Lunch
  • Pie Sale
  • Music on the Deck (featuring Parker Barrette)
  • Wagon Rides
  • Installation of Mr. Rob and Blessing of Year-Round Staff
  • Quilt Auction
  • Silent Auction
  • LOMC Pop-Up Store

Staff and volunteers worked hard to setup all the activities and to make LOMC shine in the weeks and days before the annual event. New this year was moving Autumn Fest from a Sunday to a Saturday to better accommodate churches and church groups. Special thanks to the many pastors and church staff that attended that often find it hard to leave church on a Sunday and get to LOMC. We were very pleased and excited to have Bishop S. John Roth and his wife Kris attend the festivities! A highlight of the event was a special devotions time featuring the Building Youth Groups (BYG) Retreat participants that shared a song and a skit based on the story of Mary, Martha and Jesus. Afterwards during devotions LOMC Board chair Pr. Carla Thompson Powell led the installation of Rob Gieraltowski as the new executive director and following, a prayer of blessing over the year-round staff. A wonderful moment to acknowledge God’s ministry at LOMC that so many over the past 45 years have join in.

The Saturday change of day seemed to be successful as the crowd of people was steady nearly the entire 10am-5pm event. Of course this day could not be successful without dedicated volunteers:

In Random Order:

  • Maya Powell (Greeter)
  • Carmen Serrano (Pie Sales)
  • Susan Davis (Greeter)
  • Tina Ruane (Greeter)
  • Sophia Lemonholm (Greeter and Crafts)
  • Pr. Jessica Bakken (Cider Pressing)
  • Jackie Fransen (Cider Pressing)
  • John Gregg (Cider Pressing)
  • Margi Ficken (Cider Pressing)
  • Pr. Joyce and Kenneth Gulliford (Cider Pressing)
  • Mike, Lucas, Tyler and Colton Plocinski (Cider Pressing, Pumpkin Carving, Parking and more!)
  • Callie Arendt (Archery)
  • Lisa Barrette (Games and Pumpkin Carving)
  • Kurt Wolter (Firepits)
  • Tom Champley (Parking)
  • Michaela Barrette (Crafts)
  • Jennifer Heinrich (Donut Fun Walk/Run)
  • Parker Barrette (Dining Hall Deck Music)

In addition to the names above, the Dining Hall was alive with some great volunteers handling welcoming, pie and store sales, Silent Auction and the Quilt Auction. Many of these volunteers helped set things up the days and weeks beforehand too! Special thanks go out also to:

  • Pr. Bree Truax
  • Pr. Vicki Sauter
  • Jan Champley
  • Sue Gingras
  • Paula Anderson
  • Pr. Carla Thompson Powell
  • Carmen Serrano
  • Jeanine Pitman

The Silent Auction saw many great baskets (and a few other extra auction items) donated by LOMC board members and fans of LOMC alike. Car care, pet, camping, pampering, and more themes for the numerous and awesome baskets. Winners were announced after the devotions at the Drama Drum and we certainly saw some very excited winners! Thanks to everyone who donated baskets and items for the auction. Needed dollars were raised for the ministry of LOMC.

A HUGE tasty thank-you to the wonderful congregation of Trinity Lutheran (Durand, IL) for donating 83 pies to help with fundraising efforts. Guests loved picking up cherry, apple, blueberry and rhubarb pies!!!

We loved having 3-6th graders out for the Fall BYG Retreat which was new this year! 17 children and adult leaders came out Friday evening to experience S’More God! As a part of the retreat the BYG Retreat were able to enjoy all the activities of Autumn Fest and help lead our time of devotions!

The Quilt Auction was brought back after many, many years and 51 quilts were donated to be auctioned off. The varied types of quilts were marvelous to see hanging in the Moline Dining Hall and we were very fortunate to have auctioneer Lenny Bryson (Polo, IL) donate his time to lead the auction. Mr. Bryson entertained and led an exciting and worthwhile auction to benefit LOMC!!! The small crowd of bidders were not disappointed in picking up one or more quilts to take home! Thanks to all the individuals and churches that donated precious resources and time to help make this (new) first auction a success!

Of course the staff (Audrey, Ken, Adriana, Chris, Nyssa, Michelle, and Rob) and food service staff worked super hard to make sure this annual homecoming event was full of fun, faith and surprises!

Ta-Da! Proceeds (after expenses) are estimated at $14,000!!! A wonderful event that also raises money for LOMC. Thank you to everyone who donated or purchased items to benefit the ministry of LOMC!

Take a look at our many photos from the event and many of them taken by board member, Pr. Ben Sloss (thanks Pr. Ben!!!).


Autumn Fest 2019 Gallery

Click any photo for a larger version.