Church’s Summer Olympics focuses on fun

Caitlyn Crawford, Macy Williams, Lauren Craddock and others participate in Summer Olympics at Asbury United Methodist Church on Aug. 3. (Photos by Keith McCoy)

Caitlyn Crawford, Macy Williams, Lauren Craddock and others participate in Summer Olympics at Asbury United Methodist Church on Aug. 3. (Photos by Keith McCoy)

By STEPHEN DAWKINS

Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – The Summer Olympics are being held in Rio de Janeiro, but children at Asbury United Methodist Church are having their own version of the games focused more on fun than competition.

“We usually have fun nights during the summer just to get together with our church family and fellowship and have fun,” said Angie Gongwer, Asbury’s director of children’s ministry. “With the Olympics this summer, we just wanted to have something fun for the kids related to that.”

Children’s Summer Olympics began July 13 and was held every Wednesday over the summer except Aug. 10 because of the start of school.

Activities included slip and slide kickball, relay races, egg roulette, Frisbee toss and pool noodle javelin.

On Aug. 17, participants will play string games, including a game where a cup is on a horizontal string and they use water guns to advance the cup down the string faster than the competition.

Children will also race by Army crawling under strings.

Aug. 24 will feature the “crowd favorite,” which will be a game or games played again as voted on by the children.

Some of the children said the shaving cream games and slip and slide kickball were their favorites.

Bryleigh Lancaster and Arden Mullins were teammates for the games and said pools were used as bases during the kickball game, and players had to use a slip and slide to advance from base to base.

Nine-year-old Talan Smith said he enjoyed the shaving cream games.

“We put shaving cream in our hair, and our partner would throw cheese balls and see how many we could make stick in there,” Smith said.

There will be inflateables on Aug. 31.

The Summer Olympics have included about 80 children, from those who have completed kindergarten through those who have completed fifth grade.

Those helping with the effort have included four staff members and three youth interns.

The Summer Olympics have coincided with the “Cross and the Crescent” series presented by the church’s senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Kip Laxson.

Sessions last from 6:30-8 p.m., and all are welcome to attend, Gongwer said.

“It’s just a way for our kids to spend time together, learn about each other and fellowship,” she said.

The church is located at 6690 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham.