By JOHN FORTMEYER
EUGENE — Christians in Lane County last month annoounced a major two-year evangelistic partnership with the Portland-based Luis Palau Association — including an outdoor festival here in the summer of 2018. The announcement from One Hope Network, a coalition of churches and ministries throughout the county, said it is a result of “years of prayer, dialogue and relationships between local leaders and the Palau team.” Goal of the effort is that “the gospel would be presented to our community in fresh, widespread ways.”
The partnership launched March 7 at an event with nearly 200 pastors and ministry leaders at First Baptist Church of Eugene.
“Kevin Palau shared the concept of CityServe/CityFest and the story of Portland churches coming together around a similar concept,” said Randy Burtis, the Palau festival’s director. “Andrew Palau shared his testimony and his heart for seeing people come to Christ. By the end of that meeting 60 churches and ministries we’re officially on board, with another 20 going back to their leadership to discuss their participation.”
Then the following day, said Burtis, more than 100 Christian business leaders gathered at the Valley River Inn for a meeting with Andrew and Kevin Palau, as well as Wilson Smith from Nike who shared some of his experiences with a previous Palau festival in Portland.
The partnership calls for:
•Large scale collaborative service in the community, kicking off this August with Project Hope, an annual outreach coordinated by One Hope Network for schools and families within four school districts just prior to the new school year. Churches will join in both new and existing ways to partner with schools, address the foster care and homelessness crisis, and attend to other community needs.
•A focused effort of evangelistic training for local believers this coming winter and in the spring of 2018.
•Smaller evangelistic events for specific audiences in the spring of 2018. This may include civic, business, women’s and campus gatherings that will create a more focused environment for the gospel to be shared.
•The culminating festival to be held the second half of July 2018 in PK Park stadium in Eugene. “We hope to confirm the actual date in the next few weeks,” said Burtis.
The festival would include Gospel-centered entertainment for children and families, food booths, artists, music and Gospel presentations in many forms from a variety of voices, including evangelistic messages from Andrew Palau. The format would be similar to the large-scale festivals that the Palau team has held in Portland and other cities nationally.
For more information, contact Burtis at 360-339-2913 or firstname.lastname@example.org