The Well Community Church hosts “Summerpalooza”

Kid attendee recites memory verse for the week, Acts 2:28 (Photo by Hannah-Grace Leece, Clovis Roundup).

June 17, 2024 – “Helping people connect to God and to each other in every neighborhood”: this is the mission statement of The Well Community Church, a multi-site church situated in Fresno and Clovis. The church began in 2002 and since then has grown exponentially in size, encompassing three locations with eight different services.

Last week, on Monday (6/10) through Friday (6/14), The Well held an event upholding that mission with their annual “Summerpalooza” event to help kids connect to each other and grow deeper in their faith through various activities. Activities included a slip-n’-slide, crafts, a water relay, dunk tank, and small group time to talk about the message.

Identical events are hosted at two of The Well’s various locations, the Fig Garden campus and the Clovis campus. Both events combined were attended by over 1,300 children, and  staffed by over 800 volunteers.

The event takes place during the second week of June every year. During the last night of the week, families got dinner at a variety of food trucks in the parking lot, and kids could ride down water slides, play in bounce houses, and be hosed by a fire truck.

Clovis Campus Kids’ Associate Director and 415 Coordinator Emilie Jones expressed her wholehearted passion for the event. In addition to being a leader and helping coordinate the event, she played the role of “Adventure Emilie,” going up on stage and telling all the children about her adventure going around the world to find the greatest party, playing into the “start the party” theme of the event.

Jones stated, “My favorite part of playing Adventure Emilie is just the wonder in the kid’s eyes of this character that loves Jesus and loves to go on adventures… It sort of feels like I’m a Disney princess at Disneyland, and they’re like ‘Oh my goodness, you’re Adventure Emilie!’”

“Adventure Emilie” wore a multitude of fun, vibrant outfits to tie into her character’s enthusiastic demeanor, such as Hawaiian shirts and leis, workout gear, and a sombrero. Other volunteers wore similarly bright colors to show their peppy attitudes.

The number of these volunteers throughout the week helping with the event was certainly a sight for sore eyes – everywhere kids were found in the vicinity, there was a volunteer watching them, keeping them safe but also ensuring that they had a fun time.

Jones commented on the gratitude she felt for all the adults who chose to serve. “My favorite part is seeing all the leaders that are here serving, giving up their evening to be tired, but to love on kids too. It’s just incredible to see the body of Christ come together so visibly.”

But while this event had no shortage of fun, exciting games for kids to engage with, there was also a meaningful depth to what they were learning. Kids learned a memory verse about gladness and joy through a relationship with God, and how “Jesus always gives us a reason to celebrate.”

Jordan Niles, the Kid’s Director at The Well, and Jones both talked about the messages being shared for the kids as well.

One night they shared the story of the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”, and another night “The Woman At the Well”, the story that the church derived its name from. They spoke about how each of the messages were Gospel-focused, focusing on the messages and actions of Jesus.

Niles also talked about how “Summerpalooza” fits into the mission of The Well to help connect people to God and each other. He stated, “We have five values as a kid’s ministry. We want to create fun, safe, small-group driven, gospel-driven environments, and we want to partner with parents… We believe life change happens in circles, not in rows.”

Though The Well’s following is significant and shows the large impact they have made upon the community, what truly matters is the life-changing effect they have had upon Clovis and Fresno.

The devotion they have for their community is clearly displayed through serving others, and the many volunteers that gave up their evenings to contribute to the execution of this event reflects that servitude. Based on this, there is no doubt that The Well will continue to serve the community in a meaningful way for years to come.