by: Cliff Newell, 
A big banner on Country Club Road is one of the many ways that ministers Crystal Shearer and Louie Olivarez are getting out the word about the Community Fair set for Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lake Oswego Sunday.

The accent is definitely on youth for the first Community Fair on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Our Savior's Lutheran Church of Lake Oswego is opening its spacious grounds to the entire local community for a time of fun, fun and more fun, from 1 to 4 p.m.

'There will be activities for kids and directed at families,' said Louie Olivarez, church youth minister.

'We would like this event to give people an idea of what Our Savior's is all about,' said Crystal Shearer, children's minister.

The roster of fun stuff includes a bounce house, large slide, cotton candy, hotdogs, popcorn, a band, passport prizes and the ever-popular dunk tank.

Our Savior's had held a Sunday fall fun day in the past, but this year the church is reaching out.

'This is the first time we've had something like this,' Olivarez said. 'Before it was an internal event, a kickoff for our fall activities. This year we wanted to make it bigger and more of a community event.'

To accomplish this, Olivarez and Shearer have gone on a promotion binge, sending postcards, invitations, running newspaper ads, and hanging up door hangers on homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

The Community Fair is an expansion of Our Savior's open door policy to the Lake Oswego community. An estimated 2,000 people a week already use the church, including Weight Watchers, Al Anon, Northwest Children's Choir, plus pre-school and musical activities.

This youth-oriented fair is led by a young group of ministers that joined the church staff this year. The Rev. Kelle Nelson-Bunkers came on as youth and families director in January, while Olivarez arrived in May and Shearer just two and a half months ago.

Although young, Olivarez and Shearer have much experience in church youth work.

Olivarez came to Our Saviors from two years in Costa Rica, where he and his wife served as missionaries. He has had 16 years of experience working with youth.

Shearer has been working with children and high school youth since 1992. She has served as a youth minister at Tualatin Presbyterian and West Linn Lutheran Church.

A full ministerial staff will be ready for the Community Fair.

'The idea is to move in this direction and have this be a yearly event,' Olivarez said. 'We hope that in the following years the word will get out about this. We want this fair to be anticipated and looked forward to by the community.'

While all are welcome to the Community Fair, they are also welcome to the church's regular services that day, set for 8:45 and 11 a.m.

Our Savior's Lutheran Church is located at 2000 Country Club Drive, across the street from Lake Oswego High School. For more information, call 503-635-4563.

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