An Anglican hootenanny brought together 45 people for toe-tappin’ worship at Jubilee Hall in Wabamun on June 24.
Since its founding four years, the Anglican Mission of St. Saviour’s has drawn residents of Wabamun and its surrounding community together for Cowboy Church during the Dragonfly Festival. It is a fitting and meaningful way to wrap up a busy weekend for Team Jesus. Members also participated in the community pancake breakfast and parade the previous day.
Led by the St. Saviour’s Doo Wop Girls and accompanied by the musical trio of the Rev. Coleen Lynch, the Rev. Mike Lynch and Kyle Sicotte on guitar, the congregation sang favourites such as “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” “I Saw the Light,” “Will There Be Any Stars?” “There’s Power in the Blood” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
Wearing her signature red hat and matching boots, Lynch reflected on the Gospel reading, Luke 1:57-80, a celebration of the birth of St. John the Baptist, describing him as “a weird man who lived in the desert, wore camel hair and ate bugs.” But John’s weirdness, she said, was always about pointing people to Jesus the Messiah.
“You and I can make a difference,” said Coleen. “Please pay attention to how you think, speak and act.” She encouraged the congregation to remember the three ‘B’s (for Baptist): Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Yourself.
“When we are bold for the Lord, the Holy Spirit is with us. Tell someone you went to church today and let people know that God makes a difference in your life.
“In this world you need to be brave and stand up for your convictions (John the Baptist lost his head for standing up to King Herod). If we want to live a life of purpose and meaning, we must have the guts to stand up for integrity, kindness and genuine love.
“Only you can live your life. You are God’s gift to the world. God creates us and sustains us in love just as we are. We have the kind of God that understands we all make mistakes and are forgiven as many times as we need forgiving. All that is asked of you is that, like John, you point others to Jesus.”
Concluding her sermon, Coleen who just turned 66, spoke about her need to retire as rector of St. Saviour's due to health concerns. She gave thanks to God for the “dear community of Wabamun for being so welcoming of me and Mike. We believe in caring for one another, we believe in this town and we believe in a better world. Know how much I love you and even more know how much God loves you.”