To India Miller, this year’s Allen County Junior Fair Queen, the fair’s annual worship service is just one more positive thing about the fair.
“We have a lot of faithful, religious people here, it means we have a lot in common,” said India, 17, and chairperson of the fair board worship committee. “You can also join together here with people who believe in the same thing you do, for the most part.”
India was excited to organize the non-denominational service on Sunday morning in the gospel tent, as she has faith too.
“[I am] very supportive of people having an option of still having church at the fair,” said India, a senior at Spencerville High School.
Joy Diller and two of her daughters, Tessa, 20, and Lynea, 17, attended the worship service Sunday and have been going for about 15 years.
The family, from Columbus Grove, shows animals at the fair and stays on the fairgrounds, so it’s not always practical for them to travel to their church during the fair.
Religion is “huge” at the fair, Joy Diller said
“Faith, family and friends is really what the fair is to me,” Joy Diller said. “The value systems, love of God’s creation from animals to your crops to your land, you just look around and it’s all … it’s your life.”
The service would be “greatly missed” if it weren’t offered, she said.
The service included performances by the Lima Community Youth Band, which is associated with the Lima Community Church, and a sermon by Phil Starr, pastor of Student Ministries at Lima Community Church.
Starr preached of the rhythm of farming and of faith.
“Rhythm matters when it comes to farming or taking care of livestock,” Starr said.
He then explained the rhythm many are caught up in in life: an “exhausting” rhythm that’s “spent chasing success.”
“We have to realize the rhythm that God has for us, it matters,” he said. “God is inviting us … to experience the rhythm he has.”
Starr was invited by a fair board member to speak at the service, he said he hopes the audience understands that “God has a rhythm for their life that leads to abundant and eternal life.”
To have faith and religion be invited into the fair is a “privilege,” Starr said.