Every summer, communities around the country come together for a National Night Out (NNO).
This is an opportunity for local organizations to get acquainted with their neighbors, while local law enforcement and city officials mingle with community members. This year’s event took place on Tuesday, August 1.
This year, two SCC churches participated in their local NNO events—one by hosting and another with a booth.
Eagle Rock Church
Photo by Steve Clement
Photo by Herb West
Photo by Herb West
Eagle Rock church is the official site for the Eagle Rock NNO event, and this year was their first year to bring back the event since the pandemic. The church has held a NNO block party at their facility since 2013, excluding 2020-2022 due to the pandemic.
“National Night Out is a community-building campaign that encourages communities all across the nation to gather alongside each other every first Tuesday in August to promote safety, camaraderie, and partnerships within the community,” explained Christian Botello, associate pastor at Eagle Rock church. “Hosting a National Night Out Block Party has been one way of showing our community that we care for them. This event has given us the opportunity to continue building positive relationships with local organizations and residents and introduce them to helpful resources. We want our community to know that we care for their well-being.”
About 400 people attended this year’s block party. With 18 businesses plus representatives from LAPD, CHP, LAFD, City Hall, and the LA City Bureau of Sanitation, this year's event had plenty to offer. In addition to the booths, the event featured games, face painting, a reptile show, and live music. A few ministries of the church also connected with the community through their own booths.
“The National Night Out provides a super fun and safe opportunity to connect with the community and our neighbors,” noted Jon Cicle, senior pastor at Eagle Rock church. “There is no charge for the event—for the community or for the vendors. When neighbors ask how much it costs, they're surprised to hear it's completely free. ’Nobody gives anything away for free anymore,’ they'll respond. This encapsulates the power of giving something of value away for free, just like God's grace is free.”
Photos by Lauren Lacson
For the first time this year, the Sunland-Tujunga church hosted a booth at their local NNO event to spread the word about their chapter of the God’s Closet ministry. The event included games, food, and live music, plus the local authorities getting acquainted with the community.
“As a church that is fortunate to be right across from the center of town, our church is blessed to support National Night Out,” said John Aitken II, pastor of the Sunland-Tujunga and Living Stones churches. “We are so fortunate that our church has very deep roots within the community, and by being involved in the National Night Out, we can really energize ourselves within the community as we help the community to become a better place.”
This booth afforded the church members the valuable opportunity to meet with community neighbors and share about the upcoming shop day on August 20. The event was held at Little Landers park just across the street from the church, and it was great to connect the familiar building with our beliefs and ministries.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to interact with the community and other non-profit organizations,” shared Susan Armstrong, member of Living Stones church and acting director of God's Closet – Tujunga. “We had an amazing time, and God blessed us with several new families interested in our upcoming free shopping event for children’s clothing.”