Portsmouth church gives sledders a warm welcome

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PORTSMOUTH — Whether they were seeking divine intervention or a snowmaking machine wasn’t clear, but a few weeks ago a couple of people approached Pastor Robert Rosinski of King's Grant Fellowship Church with a complaint.

“They said, ‘Can’t we do something about the snow? Let’s get some snow on those hills,’” recalled Pastor Rosinski, whose church is a popular spot for sledders due to its rolling hills leading down to West Main Road.

Almost on cue, “the real snow” arrived not too long afterward, said the pastor, who came by Monday afternoon to watch about a dozen or so sledders enjoy the hills with their families.

“You should have seen yesterday,” said Pastor Rosinski.

His son, Greg Rosinski, agreed.

“Yesterday was wild. All the parking lots were full,” said Mr. Rosinski, a church board member who was there with his wife Lachelle and their two daughters, Baylee, 5, and Cassidy, 4.

Knowing the property — located across from the King’s Grant development — is a prime destination spot for sledders, the church welcomes them with open arms.

“The church decided to go ahead and open up the doors and offer hot chocolate and a little bit of warmth, just to let them know that they’re more than welcome to come here and sled,” said Lachelle Rosinski. “It’s all about the family, and that’s what we’re trying to emphasize. We’re trying to reach out to the families of the community and if that’s what they need, that’s what we’ll provide for them.”

Added her husband, “The hot chocolate idea is that it’s a community church, so we want people to see a little bit more than just a sermon. It’s about the fellowship.”

The church will be opening its doors on select days, when there’s snow on the ground. Families are urged to check for updates on the church’s Facebook page or its main website. And yes, the restrooms will be available, too.

“Usually after a big snowstorm we’ll come out like we did (Sunday) because we had all that snow Saturday night. We had a great turnout. Everyone was really appreciative and they loved the hot chocolate. Or, if kids don’t have school because of snow day, we’ll try to come out,” said Ms. Rosinski, noting that the church is planning on welcoming sledders inside again this Sunday, Feb. 23.

Pastor Rosinski said you never know when sledders will show up at the church.

“It’s just spur of the moment,” he said. “We had one day last year, every spot was taken. When we came in, there was a limo parked in the back. Some kids from Portsmouth Abbey had hired a limo.”

However, the hills are better suited “for the little guys,” he said. “If you’re a teenage, it’s not very challenging. But for 11 on down, it’s ideal.”

Often times, he and his wife will drive by the property just to see the sledders, he said.

“It’s just a great family time and that’s what we’re about.”

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