Not Just Free Candy

When our newest congregation on Ridge Avenue heard that the largest egg hunt in Philly wasn’t happening this year, we decided (with short notice) to have one ourselves, as a way to meet neighbors and make new friends. We are still getting the word out that Circle of Hope has formed a new congregation that is meeting in Roxborough. We have cells all across the Northwest neighborhoods, and we are expanding our connections however we can!

Circle of Hope hosts and egg hunt at Ridge AvenueOn Saturday, April 1st, over 126 people showed up at 5720 Ridge Ave. from across Germantown, Mt Airy, Roxborough, and even from the Northeast for the event. It was a diverse group! And though it was chilly and windy, we had fun. While the little kids were still figuring out how to collect the eggs at their feet, the big kids were released to scout for hidden ones. The actual hunt took all of a few minutes (they’re fast) but people stayed afterwards. Parents talked. We had snacks. Eggs were emptied and collected (in case we do this again). Kids compared their bounty, played and made crafts. The connections and laughter were sweet.

Circle of Hope egg hunt on Ridge Avenue in PhiladelphiaOne of our egg hunt friends emailed me later to find out if we have organized things for kids during our Sunday meetings at 5pm. We do! We welcome kids among us and relate to them where they are at developmentally. We have caregivers for the babies and kids’ meetings for 3-year-olds through early elementary age. We want to be an environment of God’s loving presence where kids can feel safe and be known. It takes a lot of people to nurture a child to grow into an adult who can face the world with faith, hope, and love. We offer our church for that.

Our goal for having the egg hunt, apart from the fun, was to make connections. We are trying to say there is a community here ready to know you and love you and your children. We are here for families that are navigating life and schools and relationships and looking for the village that it takes—not just the free candy.

-Julie Hoke

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