Methodists hold Praise in the Park

The four United Methodist churches in Fort Dodge will come together for an outdoor worship service at 10:30 a.m. July 14 at the Oleson Park Bandshell.

“This is a community gathering and it is open to everybody,” said the Rev. Dan Rogers, of Trinity UMC. “Service will be contemporary in style, with music led by a praise band consisting of members from all the churches.”

Trinity, Epworth, Riverside and First United Methodist churches will all contribute to the service. An offering will be taken for the Lord’s Cupboard food pantry. People should bring blankets and lawn chairs for the service, and picnic food for afterward.

“The idea really was for people to later picnic on their own, and just take advantage of the day and the time for family and friends to be together,” Rogers said.

He said the idea really started with the Rev. Erling Shultz, of Epworth UMC.

“Originally the worship committee at Epworth, we’re always looking at something to do for outreach,” said Shultz. “We decided to do an outdoor worship in the park this summer. Then I went out and invited the other churches to come.

“It’s grown into more of a time to fellowship with the greater denomination, with the greater community, just time for something bigger than our normal Sunday.”

Sometimes bigger is good, he said.

“Not all the time, but sometimes when you’re a little church, you get caught into that mentality that all of the Kingdom of God is little, and we need to gather together every once in a while to remind ourselves that the Kingdom of God is greater than any of us,” he said.

Epworth will be the host church, providing the permit to use the grounds, he said. First United Methodist will provide the sound system they use for their sidewalk Sunday School, and all four churches are getting together for the music.