Everyone needs and deserves hope.
A little encouragement goes a long way.
Those are the driving themes behind this weekend’s Hope Rally at the JCB Pavilion at Crossroads Community Park in downtown Seymour.
There will be live inspirational music, testimony and messages of love and hope for all.
The event will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and is nondenominational and not affiliated with any church, group or business.
Anyone who wants to celebrate the grace and glory of God with others is invited to attend, said Jeff Ellis, who is helping organize the event.
“We truly are living in very trying times,” Ellis said. “Our mission is simply to bring hope to a hurting world. Come receive renewed hope and encouragement for your life.”
There is no admission charge, and food and drinks will be available. Attendees should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.
Messages of God’s grace will be given by Pastor George Hamlin from First Church of God in Seymour on Saturday and Clarence Brown on Sunday with individual prayer and ministry time scheduled at the end of each day.
Those attending also will receive free hope bags.
One of those sharing her story of hope and faith is Angel Abshear, who serves as pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Seymour.
“When Jeff was in the early planning stages, I mentioned that testimony may reach those in need of hope, rather than preaching,” she said. “I didn’t know he was going to ask me.”
But Abshear has a powerful testimony of both God’s saving grace and how healing takes place in a community.
Born addicted and raised in the system and on the street, Abshear never attended school past elementary school but with God was able to graduate from seminary and become a shining light of hope for others.
She has been in and around recovery groups for 30 years.
“They loved me until I could love myself,” she said. “That and attending church early in recovery saved my life. They helped me raise my children and taught me what hope was and true love is.”
Although this weekend’s rally is not based on recovery or centered around church, Abshear said it is a powerful way to reach all people.
“It is purely Jeff’s desire to bring the undiluted hope of Jesus to our community,” she said.
Ellis works with a variety of people on a daily basis, from those who are well off financially and hold positions of importance to those who are homeless.
“He treats them all the same, with generosity, showering his love, his time and his encouragement upon them,” Abshear said.
Abshear views the rally as an opportunity to catch the interest of those who may not be ready for church but are in desperate need of Jesus and a community of love.
“God can and will change your life if given a chance,” she said.
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What: Hope Rally
When: 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: JCB Pavilion at Crossroads Community Park in downtown Seymour
Details: Music, testimony and messages of hope and faith; food and drinks will be served; and there is no charge for admission