Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The "Days of Elijah" Come to Cokato

Beginning in the 1960s Northern Ireland suffered through "the troubles," a time of ethnic and political violence. Finally, in 1998, an agreement was signed. Now its people enjoy peace and visitors are no longer afraid. They are committed to a future with hope for themselves and their children.

How has this happened? Why have continuing tensions and occasional violent incidents not sparked cycles of revenge? One thing cannot be denied: Christians of all denominations, Catholics and Protestants, have been praying and talking, enjoying fellowship. They have come to believe that their peace is a gift from God.*

The Dassel-Cokato area has enjoyed remarkable blessings as members of our various churches have studied scripture, prayed and worked together. We would like to share that through a community worship and praise event on Thursday, September 3. It's my prayer that many will come to share, pray and worship God together at the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center, 4852 Reardon Ave. S.W., Cokato, MN 55321.

Songwriter Robin Mark** will be our leader. He is a worship leader from church in Belfast, Northern Ireland. That church began when students who believed in God began to organize and pray together "24/7" for peace. (See below for more about Robin Mark).

Come and worship, learn and share this special time with brothers and sisters from many denominations!
  • 4:30 p.m. - An hour of fellowship and conversation with Robin Mark. He will share his story and talk about how worship impacts lives, churches and communities. See Second Chronicles 29 and bring your Bible.
  • 6:00 - 7:00 - Supper (food available from vendors). This will be a time of conversation for worship & prayer leaders, pastors and others. Let's share and pray together to mutually strengthen prayer, worship and peace making for the good of our communities.
  • 7:30 p.m. - Praise Concert and Worship led by Robin Mark. Lyrics will be projected so all present can worship and sing along. Local songwriter Rachel Kurtz will lead the first 20 minutes. She currently serves as minister of worship, music and young adult ministries at Faith Lutheran Church, Hutchinson.
The overall sponsor for this event is Minnesota Disaster Relief, a non-profit group of volunteers. The costs associated with bringing this event to Cokato are bring covered by donations and ticket sales. A $100 donation will give your church or group 10 tickets plus 2 complementary tickets for pastor(s) and/or lay leader(s). Individual tickets are available for $12 each. All tickets are general admission, so come early for the best seats. For more details go to If anyone needs financial assistance to attend, please contact me.

A representative of the sponsoring group would be glad to address your congregation or group in person to promote this event. They would be glad to come to your church to bring a brief invitation at worship or at any other convenient time. Please contact Allan Nagel at 320-275-7621 or email him at Al's address is 17965 718th Ave., Dassel, MN 55325.

Let's get together on Thursday, September 3 for the sake of God's peace here in Minnesota, in Northern Ireland, and around the world.

*A June 30, 2009 report from Northern Ireland and an excellent video on how prayer and conversation helped bring peace there can be seen at this Christian Broadcasting Network webpage.

**More about Robin Mark:
Nominated in 2006 for a Dove award for his song “Days of Elijah”, Robin Mark is already well known to many in the Christian Church in the U.S. His five Integrity Music albums, "Revival in Belfast," "Come Heal this Land," "Revival in Belfast 2," "Days of Elijah" and "East of the River" have become best sellers in America and throughout the world reaching number 1 spots in Praise and Worship charts in five separate countries. His songs have been translated into many different languages and cover the entire globe. Yet this unassuming man, still residing in Belfast, Northern Ireland, would prefer not to extol any of his own accomplishments, but rather what God can do through anyone who chooses to serve Him.

He combines the roles of Father and Husband, University Lecturer, Businessman, Emeritus Director of Worship and Music Minister in one frenetic package, perhaps mirroring the lives that many of us lead in the world today. In the midst of all this his one great desire is to serve God in whatever way he can, minister to the church at every opportunity and bless the greater Christian body and the world with whatever gifts God has bestowed on him.

This year a new album is released, which will be available in the summer, called “Year of Grace”’. Year of Grace refers to the revival year in Ireland, 1859, when over 100,000 people became Christians. His new album “Year of Grace,” his book Warrior Poets of the 21st Century along with a music and story book from his last album “East of the River” and all his other albums will all be available at the concert.

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