Even on quite a windy day, people gathered at Phil Patterson Memorial Bandshell to twirl flags, sing along to live Christian performers and celebrate each other’s differences in the first ever Praise and Worship Day in Dickinson this past weekend.
Christian religious team Aglow North Dakota hosted the event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday as a way for people to join together in faith no matter their denomination they practice. A group of 50 individuals of various backgrounds flocked throughout the day and people gathered inside the prayer ministry tent to speak with Aglow officials and rejoice their faith.
Aglow Regional Director Sande Lofberg of the Great Plains Rocky Mountain Region said she wanted to come to Dickinson and lead this event to bring unity within the churches because people will “always find things that separate” them from each other.
“I’m really excited that they’re doing something like this. Aglow has been for many years in small groups where you come inside, but now we’re doing things more outside,” Lofberg said. “... One of the wonderful things about Aglow is that we have people from different backgrounds, different churches coming together and I think that’s really the heart of God. He was the first one that said, ‘You’ll know you’re my disciples by your love for one another.’”
From little children to senior citizens, the event attracted various people, including Jana Johnson of Dickinson, who came out to the event to hear the spiritual hymns and support their friends Elisheba Haxby and Maddie Buck that were among the list of performers.
For Johnson, this was her first Aglow event she’s been to and her daughter McKenna’s as well, and listening to the Christian tunes was certainly right up their alley, she said. Being uplifted in faith was why Johnson decided to see what the Praise and Worship Day was all about.
“... God changed my life completely, completely 180. I was on a terrible path and if it wasn’t for Him, I don’t know where I’d be. I don’t know where my child would be,” Johnson said.
Even if people didn’t share the same faith or beliefs, the event was meant to strike a chord with people, Lofberg noted.
“Some already knew Jesus and they wanted to celebrate with others. I think some might have come out of curiosity to see what they’re going to worship at the Bandshell with different groups from different places,” Lofberg said.
Aglow North Dakota President Renae Stroh, who helped organize Saturday’s event, said she was delighted to see all the kids run around the grass with their worship flags.
“We had different tribes and nations here and we had different cultures that (shared) unity, “Stroh said. “Our world is full of chaos and turmoil right now that people actually come here and know that there’s peace and to have some turn up that we never expected to come and find that peace too.”
Aglow International is a 50-year-old organization and has local teams in 171 nations.