Photo courtesy of Metro Community Church on Facebook.

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EDWARDSVILLE - Metro Community Church welcomed the cooler weather with games, treats and contests at their “Fall-a-Palooza” on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023.

Riverbend residents could stop by the Metro Edwardsville campus to enjoy fall-themed fun and learn more about the church. Members of Metro’s congregation and leadership team explained that the event was a celebration of Metro and the surrounding community.

“It’s just kind of like fall exploded all over,” said Mati Barron, content director for Metro Community Church. “We wanted to make sure that everybody had a fun, safe, free place to bring their family and just have a great community time getting into the fall season…There’s so much community just coming together and really doing life together, and that’s so important for us to make sure that the community has a safe place to come, learn more about what we’re about and what our heartbeat is and how they can come to be a part of the Metro community.”

Attendees could enjoy bounce houses, games, food trucks, a petting zoo and more. The church’s small groups organized booths with activities from pumpkin painting to s’mores-making, which were a big hit with the younger crowd. Meanwhile, a cookie and brownie baking contest drew eager judges of all ages. For more information about all Fall-a-Palooza had to offer, check out this article at RiverBender.com.

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Fall-a-Palooza was a free event, but people could donate to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) for the chance to dunk Seth Conerly, the church’s lead pastor, in a dunk tank. FCA is a partner of Metro Community Church. Conerly joked that the cold water was going to “absolutely obliterate” him, but he was willing to risk it for a good cause.

“The cold front came in and we did not preheat this water,” he laughed. “The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the ministry they do locally and even internationally with athletes and empowering their platform to speak out for Jesus and who He is in their lives — I’m excited for that. Excited for our church. It’s just been a great day for us to come together, fellowship, celebrate, and just have a really good time.”

Barron and Conerly agreed that the event was a good opportunity for people to check out what Metro has to offer. Conerly described the church as a “come-as-you-are environment,” with campuses in Edwardsville and Vandalia as well as regular online streaming services. You can visit the official Metro Community Church website at MetroCommunityChurch.com for information about services, ministries and future events, including next year’s Fall-a-Palooza.

Barron already predicts Fall-a-Palooza 2024 will be bigger and better. To her, the event embodies what Metro Community Church stands for: community.

“The best thing for me is just coming together and seeing families, seeing people get to love together and just walk through life,” she said. “Especially with the kids running around, it’s really fun, just a great time all around…We did it even bigger this year than we did last year, so next year you can expect even more from Fall-a-Palooza.”

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