You might not think free hot dogs are a good way to meet your neighbors, but they worked fine for us at West Park Christian Church on Indianapolis’s Near Westside.

Church event

Our church is in the Hawthorne neighborhood, just steps off old US 40 and the National Road. Its houses were built in the first couple decades of the last century. Our building is on Addison Street, but our parking lot is on the lot behind us and it empties out onto Holmes Street. As cars and pedestrians passed, we called them in. Many stopped.

Church event

Rob, the husband of our youth pastor, manned the grill. Here he is talking to our lead pastor’s wife, Sue.

Church event

On the left is Wanda, who brought one of her friends. At right is one of our neighbors who stopped by with her children.

Church event

Jay brought his DJ gear and provided the soundtrack.

Church event

He has quite a nice little setup.

Church event

He and Phil (right) are our sound engineers on Sunday mornings.

Church event

Our little church has its challenges. We’re small in number and often lack enough people to carry out our plans. Sometimes we don’t collect a large enough offering to cover expenses. Heck, sometimes we show up on Sunday morning to find we’ve run out of communion supplies. Frankly, we count our blessings every time our worship service happens without any glitches.

But we are good at just being easy-to-approach people in our community. People find quickly that we are the most non-threatening, easiest to talk to Christians they’ve ever met. The hot dogs were just our clever ruse to let our neighbors find that out.

Nikon FA, 50mm f/1.8 Nikon Series E, Agfa Vista 200


12 responses to “Hot dogs on Holmes Street”

  1. Gerald Avatar

    These are great. That Agfa film has a very nice genuine vintage look.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! I’m pleased with these too. I’ve had enough practice at candids that I’m starting to capture moments well. It’s nice to have built a little skill here!

  2. J P Cavanaugh Avatar

    What a great idea. I often wonder how many times a church in the city actually invites its neighbors over just to be neighborly.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      And that’s all this was. Just people connecting to people with no strings attached.

  3. Jon Avatar

    How nice. Nice photos Jim.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Jon!

  4. Michael Avatar

    We have done that many times as well (setup on the sidewalk along Liberty Ave) but nowhere near the success you seem to have had. We keep trying.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It was a solid first time. Second time is today — hamburgers this time. Won’t be there though; it’s the anniversary of my first date with Margaret and she’s taking me out for dinner!

  5. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    Based on how well these candids turned out…next stop…street photography!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Ha, yes, we will see – this was a friendly audience!

  6. roykarlsvik Avatar

    One could only wish that all church communities were as friendly and inclusive as this one…
    Great idea, nice bunch of people and great snaps of course :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you! We are good at this kind of thing. We’re pretty disorganized otherwise!

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