Night to Shine is a nationally recognized event sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation that is committed to celebrating people with special needs. The event aims to provide a prom night experience for individuals with special needs in communities across the country. See related story on Night to Shine here.
‘Making a deep impact’
Prior to pandemic times, Riverbend Community Church held a traditional Night to Shine prom, but this year the church partnered with Faith Church, another church in the Lehigh Valley community, and hosted the first ever “Shine-Thru Parade.”
The church also has been “taking a strategic step to partner with another church called Faith Church, and that’s allowed us to do more Kingdom work together,” said Joe Velarde, pastor of Riverbend Community Church.
He continued, “So, we’re sharing in the load of the leadership [and] they’re leveraging their space — their building — which is a really nice facility. So, we’re seeing it really come together in really profound ways and really making a deep impact.”
What matters most
The parade was held on Feb. 5 at Faith Church. The event gave special needs individuals in the Lehigh Valley community a chance to drive the red carpet, get their picture taken without leaving their car, and be celebrated by their community.
“You know, the Scriptures say, ‘More blessed to give than to receive,’ and we have found that not only are we blessed that we give, but we receive so much from these people that we’re serving. They teach us a lot about life and what matters most,” Velarde said.
Riverbend Community Church and Faith Church are already planning for next year’s Night to Shine event.
For more information about Night to Shine visit timtebowfoundation.org/ministries/night-to-shine.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by Macala Mays and was originally published by the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey.