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Members of Woody Nook Christian Reformed Church served up pancakes to about 1,000 people in July. It was part of Lacombe Days, a summer highlight for this town of 13,000 residents located 125 km (78 miles) south of Edmonton, Alta. The event included a parade, museum tours, Slo-pitch tournament, hot air balloon rides, car and quilt shows, live music and entertainment, and more.

Following the pancakes, the local Lacombe and District ministerial group hosted Church in the Park on a local football field, led in part by members of local Christian Reformed congregations: Bethel, Woody Nook, Wolf Creek, and Neighbourhood Life Ministries.

The main speaker was Neighbourhood Life’s Rick Abma. He challenged congregants to be a caring community in each of their neighborhoods. “Often we live next to people for years and we do not know them at all,” he said. “In Christ-like love we should make every effort to heed Jesus’ words to ‘love our neighbor.’”

“There is something special about large gatherings of people in worship, reflected Rev. VanDyk of Bethel CRC. “It inspires faith and trust in God when we see him working in so many people in such wondrous ways. Normally on a Sunday, each church meets with its own members. At Church in the Park we see everyone together and are reminded that we are not alone. We are part of something much bigger that God is doing in Jesus by the Holy Spirit right here in Lacombe.”

The local ministerial group represents 14 churches and numerous denominations: United, Baptist, Lutheran, Evangelical Free, Pentecostal, Alliance, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian Reformed, as well as Clive Community, Meadowbrook Community, and Bentley Community churches.

“While we certainly have differences in the Lacombe ministerial,” said Rev. Neil de Koning of Woody Nook CRC, “we also recognize our common commitment to the one God we confess in the Apostles’ Creed. This service is a way of testifying to the community that our common faith propels us in our service to each other and our community. It is a delight to worship together as we seek to be neighbors to each other and our neighborhoods.”

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