Sunday, July 22, 2012 from 4 pm to 7 pm will be the second annual luau at the Puyallup United Methodist Church located at 1919 West Pioneer Avenue Puyallup, WA 98371. Shirley DeLarme, pastor at the Puyallup United Methodist Church, explained the purpose of the luau, “It’s an outreach invitation to see if people are interested in ministries. We also have to party now and then and it was a good week of vacation bible school and now a time to play and have fun.” The event is open to the public and she recommends anyone who’s looking for a family time with the church with or without children in a family atmosphere. Shirley commented: “One thing about this church is that it includes extended family; my children look at the church as extended aunts and uncles.”
The luau will include a pig that will be served at 5 pm and side dishes including: island rice, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and beverages. The luau is a part potluck and part provided meal, so attendees are encouraged to bring side dishes and dessert (there is no sign-up sheet). A snow cone machine will also be used at the event.
Tickets to the event are $6 a person (one price for everyone) and children who were in Vacation Bible School can use their name badge as their ticket to attend to the event for free. Door prizes including a beverage mug from Central Perk coffee shop, t-shirt, and small gift certificates will also be given out.
Shirley shared what she thought of the luau, “We’re really excited about it and we’re going to have a jump house for kids and a sumo wrestler for older people. There will be several musical groups from the other Methodist churches to bring ethnic music. Mostly it’s a sense of adventure. Kids love cutting the pig’s head. Last year a couple people discovered a new church home, which is our goal besides having a real grand time.”
Shirley discussed the best thing about the luau, “It was very enjoyable and friendly; not really hyper and very comfortable, relaxing, fun, and nice to be around. The church’s mission statement is to experience and share God’s love so hopefully that’s what we’re doing.”
Shirley mentioned some interesting information about the church, “The church is one of the oldest in the state, and the church is older than the state itself. It’s about 155 to 157 years old. We don’t have soup kitchens at our church since we are located faraway from downtown. We’re pretty active in the homelessness ministry and coalition and helping with the domestic violence shelter. Some people can walk into downtown churches, but where we are located you need really good transportation or really good walking feet. We do our community activism or justice work in other ways. We participate in a program called “Freezing nights” in which a bunch of churches take turns hosting homeless people overnight in November through April. We couldn’t host it, but we assisted with transportation rides twice a day and took them to the hosting church for them to have dinner, a place to sleep, and breakfast the next morning. We get homeless people off the street during the cold winter we helped almost 50 men.”
When asked how the Puyallup United Methodist Church was different than other churches, Shirley replied, “Other churches do big special events and I think it’s a little bit different…our whole group feels like family like we’re going to a city festival. You can go to Meeker Days and it doesn’t feel like a family reunion, generally at a church especially here, it feels like a family reunion even though you’ve never been here. Everybody watches out for each other adults know names of children that are not their own, there are a couple special needs kids that get accommodations, and people watch out for each other for example asking each other, “How did your surgery go?” and “Sorry about your Grandma.”
Those that are interested in attending the luau can buy tickets at the door or contact Keith at the church office by phone: 253 845-0547. All forms of payment are accepted except credit card. “Although no credit card is accepted, people can donate with it online for the church,” Shirley concluded. The Puyallup United Methodist Church’s website is: www.puyallupumc.org.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com