A new community playground was dedicated Sunday, May 26, at Grace Church, Osceola, Ind. Dubbed Grace Community Park, the 75 x 90-foot playground is open to the public at 58343 S Apple Road.
The playground includes structures for preschoolers and older children, including swings, drums, chimes, and benches. The well-lit facility will be available throughout the day and evening hours.
“Our last 16 years have been about trying to create opportunities to connect to our community to bring kids, teens, young adults, and parents and grandparents to a relationship with Jesus,” says Greg Serafino, senior pastor.
“We open our entire property for our community to use in various ways,” he adds. The church hosts a youth football league every fall and a junior high and high school football club team, the Osceola Grace Eagles. It also opens its indoor playground to the community throughout the week.
Recent renovations to the church building required the demolition of the previous playground. Serafino says that the new equipment was the next step to reach out to their community and help connect them to a relationship with God.
The space was made possible through a $45,000 gift to the church, plus another $40,000 the congregation had budgeted.
“It’s a big place to play, complete with a sidewalk around the perimeter for parents and grandparents to enjoy walking while their kids play,” says Cari Serafino, the pastor’s wife.
She says that the church saved close to $20,000 by scheduling volunteer crews to work for three days alongside the playground company installation team. “We estimate more than 60 volunteers made it happen,” she adds. The church provided lunch each day for the workers.
Also, helpers came from the community. Ten students from nearby Jimtown High School assisted one day, while Lippert Components, a local corporation, sent several volunteers on another. The structure went up in three days.
“It is our goal to be a safe place for families to enjoy being together and hopefully become a part of the Grace family,” concludes Serafino, who has led the congregation since August 2005. “With so many events here, we needed a place for little kids to play.”