Horizon Weekly | 3 September 2020
By Gary Smith
COCHRANE, AB — St. Andrews United Church led the music, Cochrane Alliance Church welcomed the crowd, Westbrook Community Church read the Scripture, Tapestry Church brought the message—which was full of the Gospel—and Bow Valley Baptist Church gave the closing remarks and blessing. What would bring this eclectic group together? A community “drive-in” service during COVID-19.
The Cochrane Ministerial meets regularly together: six to seven times a year. Mostly, it is for encouragement and to partner on a project or two. We plan a “Walk of the Cross” annually, which is a great testimony to the community of Cochrane. We literally walk through the town, lifting a cross as we sing Easter hymns and songs and stop at various locations for Scripture reading and prayer. Normally, most of the churches in Cochrane are involved. We make the walk in any kind of weather which has even included blizzards.
Gerry Taillon (CNBC National Ministry Leader) pictured among those attending Cochrane Ministerial’s “Walk of the Cross” held annually around Easter — Photo by Warren Harbeck, coffeewithwarren.com
During COVID-19, when provincial permission was granted for drive-in services, our Cochrane Ministerial went to work. The five churches involved (listed above) agreed that the best location in town would be our local family sports centre’s parking lot. It was a neutral venue with ample room where cars could park every other space.
Tim Wuthrich and Pierre Lavigne (sound team at Bow Valley Baptist Church) work to transmit the service over attendees’ radios and provide a live feed for those watching online.
Other churches in the community were still a bit hesitant but the five churches listed above agreed to host the event which included singing with windows rolled up in cars, prayer, Scripture reading, and a great message from pastor Kelly Reid, the lead pastor at Tapestry Church (another CNBC church in Cochrane).
It was a celebration of many in the faith community of Cochrane to see that the church was still alive. The church was still well. God’s people loved getting together and we saw a group of His children that have never done anything intentional together for the Gospel—other than our annual Walk of the Cross—do exactly that. In many ways, it was a re-launching of the gathered church. Most of the churches involved had already been doing online services but this was a first for most of them to get together—even though a car door and window separated them.
It was wonderful to see the joy on the faces of those leaving the service. People saw multiple church leaders leading together. The church was worshipping in multiple ways in one of the community’s major gathering sites. The Gospel went out. Prayers for God’s people being united in the Gospel and in Christ’s love were prayed. It was truly an exciting and inspiring day.
Besides meeting together as a ministerial, there is an even deeper connection between Cochrane Alliance Church, Bow Valley Baptist Church and Tapestry Church. Every summer these three churches typically partner together to do our Backyard Kids Camps. This is a great partnership! It is evangelistic at its core and we normally see a very large number of children coming to know Christ personally.
We are always thrilled when our diverse churches come together in unity to further the Kingdom work God is doing in the community He has placed us in.
Kelly Reid (Lead Pastor at Tapestry Church) preaching to those parked at the drive-in service held June 14.
Do you have a story you would like to share? Please contact Lynda Blazina and let her know. We would love to share your stories with our CNBC family of churches.
CNBC Weekly Horizon
CNBC Mission: We are churches in covenant giving ourselves away to advance the Kingdom.
CNBC Vision: 1000 healthy, Kingdom-focused churches.