It is Sunday night after the EXPO and I am so gratified at how things turned out this year! Once again Gophers showed up, ministry leaders showed up, and the SGT family showed up!
So many people have to come together to make the EXPO happen. My Administrative Assistant, Anna Choy, starts it off in May, methodically getting things in order. That process continues even until the day after the EXPO. We try to “wake up” the “EXPO brain” around that time too, making sure everyone knows the date of the event.
But really, August is ground zero for the EXPO. Calls to Tim and Rebekah Hoppe, David Rivera, and Jason Newell are important at that time so we can think about tweaking the set-up, recruiting Gophers, and planning the food menu. We start lining up the Variety Show in August as well. By this time most all of the ministry leaders have checked in, considered their booths, Blue Light Special ideas, etc.; special guests are usually secured by that time.
August is also time for the big blue EXPO banner in the main lobby which draws attention to sign-ups and the EXPO itself. By the end of the month the EXPO stencil is on the front and side entrance sidewalks
Set-up day—the day before the EXPO—is key! Without a good set-up plan and Gophers to execute the plan, there would not be an EXPO. Tim’s plan, Anna’s planning, and David’s availability make this possible!
Set-up-day evening is for ministry leaders! It’s when they set-up and get their exhibits ready (although this year several pushed it to Sunday morning! Hint hint!)
This year there were new ideas, new approaches (like the Home Missions Doll House, a different set-up and approach by The Center and also SGT Kids). There was also new variety—like Tony Carrozzo’s Exotic Snakes and Pastor Rich’s Missions Gadget Table. We also added Naomi Pierro’s show, a Mr. Softee truck, and the SGT Welcome App. And we began acclimating Maureen Arasmo to the Variety Show Emcee role.
I love it when the first service releases and the Exhibit area floods with the SGT family! From that point it’s busy for the rest of the day. The floor gets energized again when the second service lets out. For me, though, EXPO is constant trips between the office and the Exhibit floor, announcements in two services, all the while taking in the spectacle of the EXPO; the busy-ness of it. Talking to our people, checking in with various exhibits, appreciating our special guests, knowing all the time that I have to get focused on the Variety Show. (Among other things, I feel pressure because I try to open the show with comedy but I don’t really announce that I’m going to do stand-up comedy: it’s too much pressure!) Naomi’s show was great today and so was the Variety Show.
In the end, people come together and what we experience is the Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle at its best. No church is perfect. But you would be hard pressed to find a church with people who care more than the people involved in the ministries of SGT!
Thanks to all who played any part of this year’s EXPO! See you next year on September 16! (Save the date!)