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Church in the Park - August 23rd
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Imagine you are taking a leisurely late August stroll through Springbank Park. Signs of Ontario in the summer are everywhere: Children laughing and shouting at Storybook Gardens, geese and ducks waddle unconcernedly across your path, a light breeze blows the flies around. You smile as you hear…a steel drum band? If your walk is in the afternoon of the 23rd you just may have run into Church in the Park.

Church in the Park is a collaborative effort between five churches to get outside of the four walls of their respective buildings and worship God in unity. This is the fifth consecutive year Byron United, Byron Community, St. Anne’s Anglican, St. George Catholic, and Family of Faith have met together in the late summer.

"It's an opportunity for the public to witness the cooperation," says Greg Brawn, pastor of Byron United. "The focus is on the unity of our worship, and the sermons tend to be on the unity of the faith."

This unusual church cooperation comes out of, in true church fashion, food. Pastors of the representative churches have been meeting for lunch for more than ten years, and led to inter-church efforts such as the Christmas Choir Concert, Byron Cares Benevolent Ministry, and of course, the Church in the Park. “The fact is we have far more in common than differences,” says Brawn. "We don't have a desire to compete; there are more than enough people who don’t know Jesus out there to go around."

The four piece steel drum band is a part of the acoustic worship that punctuates the events. The theme of unity, specifically unity in Christ, runs through the order of service:

Order of Service

Welcome and Call to Worship: Rev. John Jasica, Pastor, St. George Roman Catholic Church

Opening Praise: "How Great Is Our God"

Opening Prayer: John Mackie, Pastor, Byron Community Church

Hymns: "Make Me a Channel" , "Knowing You" , "What A Friend"

Scripture Reading: Colin Lauchlan, Pastor, Family of Faith Christian Fellowship

Praise: "You Are My All In All", "In Christ Alone", "Praise My Soul The King of Heaven"

Scripture Reading: Mary-Catherine Bishop, Pastor, St George's Roman Catholic Church

Short Message: Rev. Anita Harrison, Pastor, St Anne's Anglican Church

Praise: "Lord of the Dance", "Shine Jesus Shine"

Closing Prayer and Benediction: Rev. Greg Brawn, Pastor, Byron United Church

Closing Hymn: "Lord I Lift Your Name on High"

If the above mentioned imagined walk appeals to you, Church in the Park will occur on Sunday, August 23rd at 3:30 pm. You'll find the five churches worshipping together in Springbank Park under the big tree in Section G, west of Storybook Gardens. All are welcome.