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September 26, 2021
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Church in the Park, Westbrook, Maine

Aug 30 2021

The wonder of Facebook has allowed me to suddenly reconnect with people from my past whom I haven't seen face to face sometimes for decades.  Scott Linscott is one of these people.  Back in the late 1980's and early 90's he was a youth pastor in southern Maine, and he utilized out ministry several times, mostly for high school retreats.  As life changed, we lost contact with each other.  Then, abracadabra, we were reunited on Facebook within the last couple of years.  It turns out Scott is a pastor of an inner city church in Westbrook, Maine.  Then, last spring he reached out to me to do a program for Church in the Park.  It seems that all summer, his church has been meeting in the city park a block or less from the church building.  Not in addition to their regular services.  Not because they have to.  Somply because they can.  Consequently, they have gotten several local neighbors who had never come to the church proper to come out regularly on Sundays. Also, to their credit, they didn't lose any congregents when they moved outdoors.  

I did my show at their Church in the Park service yesterday, and about 75 people were there.  I asked Scott how long they keep meeting ni the park, and he said as long as the weather permitted.  They even did last Christmas Eve service there!

And while I'm writing about people I haven't seen in decades, one of the worship team members- the keyboardist - reminded me that he was with a band known as Alien back in the day. Our paths crossed several times at coffeehouses and festivals ovr the years.  In the early 90's my wife and I started quite a stir in our church when we brought Alien in for a special youth group concert.  It seems that old, rural western Maine chruch hadn't ever rocked like that before!

I ended my set with my devil stick routine performed to a contemporary version of the hymn "Near the Cross".  This version was recorded by another band from back in the day: the Blacksmiths.  They achieved a little more national recognition than most Christian bands from Maine, and the guy who had played with Alien recognized it right away.  The Blacksmith's lead singer, Barry Lowe, died in a car accident a few years ago on an evening I was supposed to meet him to do ministry together at a teen center.  It was nice to reminesce after the service for a few minutes about the old days of doing creative mnistry, and to remember Barry in particular.

All because of Facebook.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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