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Church reaches out with fundraiser, prom experience

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 11:55 PM

HUNTINGTON -- If there is one thing members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ want people to know about their church, it's that anyone is welcome.

In fact, the welcoming process is so important to members of the church that they have an exact title for it: The "extravagant welcome."

There was no better way to express that notion than with the church's first annual Prom: Reloaded on Friday night at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, said Justin Murdock, leader of the church's Evangelism and Outreach Team.

"Our church is all about the extravagant welcome, where anyone and everyone feels welcome in our church," said Murdock. "A lot of churches might reject people, for a number of reasons, and I think prom kind of hits close to that for some people, who might have felt rejected from their own proms whether it was things not going the way they planned or maybe they even were banned from going to their prom because of who they wanted to bring."

The event also served as a fundraiser for the Evangelism and Outreach Team for the church, Murdock said. He said organizers expected about 100 people to attend.

The prom had all of the makings of a traditional prom, with a few adult twists. It included a live disc jockey, dance floor, door prizes, cash bar, photobooth, hors d'oeuvres and even a special dance routine.

Rev. Tim Dixon said he hoped the community took advantage of the opportunity to become familiar with the church's message.

"This is an event where we take the church's message outside of the walls and into the community," said Dixon. "We hope people find that our door is always open, and we're not here to turn away people because of who they are. We want everyone to experience God's love, and we do mean everyone. We won't turn them away."

The First Congregational United Church of Christ is located at 701 5th Avenue in Huntington. For more information about the church, visit www.uccinhuntington.org.

Follow Lacie Pierson via Twitter @LaciePiersonHD.

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