Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne
Pathfinder 

Three Churches Join to Lead Bob Marshall Community Worship

Walls that Define Not Separate

 

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

The Sunday Morning Worship Team. Back (L-R): Jama Mauldin, HeatherAnn Wayne, Mike Helland, Larry Busby, Erika Wilson and Pastor Carrie Benton. Front (L-R): Chris Mauldin, Pastor Gary Wayne and Andi Bourne.

SEELEY LAKE – The local churches are leaving their walls and joining together to lead a worship service Sunday morning, July 16 to close out the Bob Marshall Music Festival. Led by Gary Wayne, Pastor of Faith Chapel and a nine-piece worship band comprised of three Seeley Lake churches, the intent is two-fold: to continue to unify the local churches and share the love of Jesus Christ with all the attendees.

Several large music festivals around the country include a Sunday morning service as a part of the line-up.

"The church community is such a large part of our community," said Organizer Chris Stout. "I thought it would be great to include them in the festival."

While he had the idea last year, it didn't come to fruition until this year. He approached Wayne about leading a Sunday morning service but was skeptical if there would be any interest.

Wayne was onboard with the idea but wanted to see it led by a combination of the churches. He presented the idea to Pastor Craig Wilson of Mission Bible Fellowship and Pastor Carrie Benton with Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church at their weekly pastors' meeting. They all thought it was a great idea and agreed to work together on the service.

"I see it as the church of Seeley Lake, not a [single] church but the churches that reside in Seeley Lake, coming together for a Sunday morning worship event," said Wayne. "It's not going to be a church, it is going to be the move of God. We want God to move in spite of church."

Wayne said there are two goals for the Sunday worship. The first is to see the unity of the local churches coming together for a worship service, something that has never happened in Wayne's 30 years of pastoring in Seeley Lake.

The second goal is to present the love of God and who God is from Jesus' perspective.

Wayne proposed the idea of putting together a worship band from the area churches to which Stout agreed. He asked Jama Maudlin to lead the worship portion of the service.

"This is an area of passion for me and I am honored to be gathering with a group of people that truly love the Lord," wrote Maudlin in an email. "It isn't about a religious ceremony but a relationship with a God who not only wants us to know Him but wants to know us!"

Maudlin chose the music and orchestrated the vocals and instrumentation combining talents from the three churches. She loved the fact that multiple churches were represented and could share their talents, perspectives and ideas.

"Relationships can be messy and combining beliefs, talents and personalities is not an easy thing, but I believe it is worth it," wrote Mauldin. "That is what we represent as a worship team from multiple churches."

In preparation for the festival, the churches joined together on the festival grounds July 9 to pray. This was the fourth Community Prayer Walk that has been held including Faith Chapel, MBF and Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church. Wayne said the goal of the prayer time is to help change the atmosphere of Seeley Lake so that those who live here and others who visit will be touched by and experience the Spirit of God.

"We are not coming together to pray against what is happening, we are coming together to pray for it," said Wayne. "We want [the entire festival] to be more than just a music concert. We want it to be a benefit to the community."

The service starts at 9 a.m. in the Wilderness Saloon Big Tent on the Festival Grounds. It will open with worship music followed by a message and prayer time. Wayne's message will include John 3:17 "God doesn't come to condemn but to seek and to save" and the story in John 4 about the Samaritan woman that Jesus asked for a drink of water.

"I'm really excited to see the unity that developed first with the pastors but now with this," said Wayne. "It's just a reality that Jesus's church should be unified. We have walls that define us, not separate us. Our differences are functional differences and so instead of focusing on our differences, we are focusing on who Jesus is and worshiping Him."

 

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