by Lisa Tome
Pastor Jess Bousa will go to any extreme to reach people where they live.
Bousa, lead pastor for Restore Church, has performed sermons from both a casket and a toilet.
His upcoming outreach will have a horde of bikers descending on Perryville High School this Sunday, June 7. Pastor Jess said the effort is being made to reach bikers - a group which may be overlooked by other churches.
Brad McGuirk is chair of the committee for the Biker Sunday Celebration. Committee members include McGuirk's wife, Valerie, Scott Gibson, Rick Clark, Brian Sharpe, and Carl Kramer. They have been working to plan this event since January and also made a promotional video.
"No matter how lost you feel in life, there's a way back," said McGuirk. "We want to reach people whose paths may never intersect with church."
A full day of events has been set that are geared to bikers. The church service begins at 10:15 a.m. There will be special music and a sermon. McGuirk said the message will include that even those who do not come to church, are welcome at Restore.
Following the service, there will be a Blessing of the Bikes, free food and drinks, live music, vendors. A fee of $10 per rider is being collected and that will go to the church's Good Cause program which assists at-risk youth.
After the church service, nationally known blues band, the Mark Mason Band, will perform. McGuirk said the lead singer of that band leads a prison ministry. "Their mission is similar to ours," said McGuirk.
There will be free food served picnic style plus activities for the whole family including a moon bounce, games, temporary tattoos, and more. There will also be adult games, show bikes, and more.
At 3 p.m., there will be a police-escorted motorcycle ride to Chesapeake Harley Davidson near Darlington. There will be live music and food there also.
The church already has a core group of six to eight bikers known as the Restored Riders. Gearing up to welcome fellow bikers to Restore has been a journey for them. They reached out to motorcycle clubs and also handed out flyers to bikers at red lights.
"It's been an experience. Everybody seems interested," said Gibson. "I talk to anybody and everybody. I invited anybody and everybody. You don't have to be a biker to come. My main goal is to get people to church."
Pastor Jess said this event is more than just a Blessing of the Bikes. It's also a blessing of the riders, prayers for their safety, families, and faith.
“And for no mechanical failures and a safe riding season," said McGuirk.
The hope for Restore Church members is that this event be a success and become annual.
"It's been a great process," said Pastor Jess. "We are reaching people who get overlooked. We want to go where they are."
"If we reach one person, it's worth it," said Sharpe.
There is still time to register for Biker Sunday. Go online to bikersunday.net
In addition to the Perryville High School location, Restore Church has satellites in Havre de Grace and Abingdon. Another branch of Restore will open this fall at Elkton High School