Dear First Pres,

   Every organization, family, and church has its stories. Last week I had the privilege of sitting around a campfire with the Vaccaro clan. In that kind of a setting, we can't keep ourselves from retelling some of the classic Vaccaro stories. Those stories are part of who we are, and the retelling of them shape the culture of our family. 
   So what are the stories of our church? Well, I've heard a bunch. One of the most culture-shaping stories I've heard again and again (and learned to tell in my own words) is the story of how our church chose to stay downtown while other churches were moving to "greener pastures." Honestly, it's one of my favorites. It's one of the reasons I love being a part of FPC. We are a church that cares about the health and vitality of downtown. Just like every local church should care about its immediate neighborhood, we care about ours. We want it to be a neighborhood that reflects the Kingdom of God. We want it to be safe, diverse, vibrant, and economically thriving. That's part of the reason we stayed downtown, because we have a vision for downtown Fresno ... that it would it would reflect the redeeming transformation of the Gospel.  
   This Sunday we've planned a very fun way for us to live into that vision together. After worship, we're asking everyone in the church to go out to eat ... downtown. Doesn't that sound like a good time? By simply eating at our neighborhood restaurants we help to communicate that we care for them. We want them to succeed. It doesn't matter if it's a cheap taco from Don Tacha, chicken strips from The Chicken Shack, or a steak dinner from Richard's ... there's something for every budget downtown. The main thing is simply to get out and support our local business owners in the name of Jesus. Will you please join us?
   I love this idea! Don't you? It's a win, win, win. We get to eat together and build community (win). We get to support our local business owners and help them thrive (win). And we get to interact with our church's neighbors who share a value for downtown with us (win). So, save up your pennies this week and come ready to join your church for our Eat Downtown Sunday.   


P.S. You can click here to see some of the options and sign-up for a particular place (we're trying to help the restaurants know how many people to expect).