Thursday, November 26, 2015

United Church Cowboy Christmas Celebration to be held Nov. 29


  • Cowboy Christmas Service of Celebration – 11 am at Pincher Creek United Church on Sunday, Nov 29th. Chili lunch to follow. Everyone welcome!

Joyce Sasse

Final details are in place for the Pincher Creek United Church’s 23rd “Cowboy Christmas” Worship Service Celebration. In 1992 the original invitation to the local community read “Many who don’t regularly attend Sunday worship still have deep spiritual roots. Our ‘Christmas Gathering’ gives opportunity to share these values in the context of a worship service…”

Our focus through the years has been to make this a special time when we invite the extended community to celebrate our rural roots and rural spiritual values. What a grand turnout we have. During those BSE years it was a time of lament. But always we give thanks for home, family, friends and the gifts of the Creator.

The roots for this approach to worship go back to my own experience with the Saddle Bag ministry Project (in the Seventies in Saskatchewan) when we sought to determine what it was that made rural ministry a specialized ministry.

One part of our approach was to reconsider the traditional assumption about worship services. Weekly services might be OK in larger churches, but they could become burdensome in smaller more scattered communities – both for the congregation and the minister.

If twenty percent of the congregation were your family, and if they weren’t in attendance each week, everyone felt their absence. And for the minister with four services a Sunday (spread over miles of winter roads), the demands of “the relentless return of the Sabbath” were exhausting. Time was taken away from visiting, community outreach and youth work. But worship services held less often and with more focus on those gathered could be more vital.

Church leaders on the periphery of our Project, who automatically assumed God decreed weekly services, found it hard to accept this grassroots thinking. Worship should be more of a “discipline”!

“Quality Trumped Quantity” was a mantra that help us consider many alternatives for how rural ministry. is specialized ministry. Come and join this year’s Celebration and bring the family!

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