Blizzards and Blessings
An Encouraging Start!
On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, Grace Church of Cochrane officially held its first public worship service as a new church! Since then, we've held two more Sunday services, and we're delighted to report that God has upheld our work thus far.
We kicked off our inaugural preaching series through the Gospel of Mark on Easter Sunday, as Pastor Jeff opened Mark 1:1-15 for us. As part of our efforts to get the word out, we posted a graphic with the sermon title and service info several days before the service--people seemed to appreciate the "heads-up" and, God willing, we'll try to keep doing that in the future!
The "practice services" we ran in late March and early April convinced us that we needed a better option than the hall's out-of-tune piano, and so the Brien family graciously brought their electric piano for Easter. We've used it the last three Sundays and it is a vast improvement. Two of our Youth have been taking over the task of bulletin preparation, as well!
The services themselves have gone very smoothly, and we have been delighted to see several new faces--some of whom keep coming back! Just like at Calvary Grace, the fellowship at GCC is strong before and after the worship service.
After the Easter Sunday launch, the Goertzen family graciously invited the whole congregation for a celebration potluck at their place. The kids certainly enjoyed themselves!
On Saturday, April 28, a spring snowstorm blew in and dumped several inches of snow on Cochrane.
At one point, conditions were so bad that all highways in and out of town were closed. The Town of Cochrane was forced to open an emergency centre for stranded motorists:
Yes, that's the same hall we use for our services! We were notified late at night, and minutes before the announcement was made, that the Town would need the hall overnight and that our service might need to be rebooked. We considered moving the service to the evening instead, but decided to wait until early in the morning and make a final decision then. God answered our prayers when we were told the Town had, despite putting up about twenty stranded motorists, cleared everyone out and closed the Reception Centre in plenty of time to allow us to have our service. And--they plowed the parking lot!
We're particularly thankful that we were able to serve several Cochrane-area brothers and sisters in Christ belonging to Redemption Church Calgary North--a church forced to cancel its service that day by the terrible driving conditions--who were able to join us for worship instead that day. The good folks at Redemption have been very helpful and encouraging to us at Calvary Grace and Grace Cochrane throughout the process of preparing the Cochrane church plant, and it was a privilege to be able to help them out in return even in a small way!
Please continue to pray for us as we strive to reach Cochrane and area with the good news of Jesus Christ!