Farewell to SlopFest by Pastor Brian Clark

SlopFest 2013
SlopFest 2013

Today’s guest blogger is Pastor Brian Clark of Riverside Presbyterian Church (RPC) in Sterling, VA.  He talks about SlopFest which has been a summer tradition.

History of SlopFest

Seventeen years ago RPC created an event to celebrate the end of the school year called Slopfest.  The first Slopfest took place in the backyard of a neighborhood home.  A dozen middle school and high school students and a few adults attended.  Slopfest was a sheet of plastic that slid into into a baby pool of slime.

Message of SlopFest

Before the sliding began one of the adults shared a simple message:  No matter how messy you get in life, God still loves you.  Seventeen years later Slopfest had moved to a 5-acre church property and participation grew to 2,000+ high school and middle school students with over 200 adult volunteers.  The baby pool of slim had been replaced by:

  1. 3 pits of mud called “the pig sty”;
  2. A jousting pit with a foot of muddy water under a low beam where kids could knock each other off;
  3. An obstacle course and three giant slides into soapy water;
  4. Two toilet brush hockey rinks; and
  5. The climax consisting of giant crud war where the weapons of choice were expired syrup, shaving cream, and flour bombs.

I am sure that I missed something here!  At the end, the local fire company hosed everyone down.

Still, the event began as it did seventeen years ago with a simple message: No matter how messy you get in life, God still loves you.

Remembering SlopFest

All good things must end.  Perhaps not, but all good things in life must adapt to changing circumstances if they are going to remain good.  The SlopFest Message–No matter how messy you get in life, God still loves you–is still a good message.  We need to continue to share this message in new ways.  As the Prophet Isaiah wrote:

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19 ESV)

Farewell to Slopfest is an opportunity.  Each ending is also a beginning.   The energy and resources that went into running SlopFest can now be directed into other ministries.

Hey, You are Invited:  SlopFest Goodbye Party

For unrelated reasons, RPC recently sold its property;  this sale implied that Slopfest lost its home.  However, our farewell celebration is not a denial of the objectives of SlopFest.  The SlopFest message still lives in our hearts and inspires our ministries.

On Sunday, April 27, 2014 the community is invited to join us in this celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. at in the parking lot of the church (46040 Center Oak Plaza, Suite 130, Sterling, VA 20166).  Farewell to Slopfest will be a festival complete with a band (www.DavePettiGrew.net), food, laser tag, and an inflatable obstacle course open to all ages. It will be one more chance to share the message: No matter how messy you get in life, God still loves you.

Check with the RPC office (703-444-3528) or website (www.RiversideChurch.com) in coming days for event details.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@SlopFest).

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