Praise in the Park attracts big crowd

By Frank Flegel

REGINA — It got off to a slow start with fewer than 100 people when Pastor Charles Kooger and Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan welcomed everyone, but when the day ended around 10 p.m. the open space between the Cenotaph and the Victoria Park stage in downtown Regina had an estimated 600 people enjoying the music.

Kooger, of Sonlight Christian Reformed Church, is chair of the Regina Council of Churches and the Regina Evangelical Ministerial Association, and principal organizer of the first ever Praise in the Park. It brought together churches of various denominations for a day of Christian music performed by 12 bands and musicians from a variety of churches.

“I would like to bring all the churches in the city together,” said Kooger. “We are united in following and serving Our Lord Jesus Christ. There are things that separate us as well, but at the core we are one. The Bible says we are one body. Jesus has only one body and everybody who follows him is part of it.”

Kooger, along with Bohan and pastors from several other churches, joined together in front of the stage to welcome everyone and offered a brief prayer for the day.

Bohan led off the day by introducing the band that calls itself Source. “I am very happy to be a part of this,” said Bohan, “and introduce this band that really isn’t a band but several young people who come together to give praise and perform.”

The archbishop also brought greetings on behalf of the archdiocese and noted, too, that, although there are things that separate the churches, there is more that brings everyone together.

Several churches and church organizations set up information booths along one side of the open area of the midtown park. People attending the Saturday Farmers Market on the City Square adjacent to the park also stopped by to hear the music. Most bands and performers played upbeat music some with a definite rock beat that had the crowd keeping time and swaying to the music. The professional group, Tim Neufeld and the Glory Boys, ended the day at around 10 p.m. with an estimated 600 crowding the open space. They were brought in courtesy of Love Regina Week and World Vision.

Kooger said everyone was pleased with the way it went and hopes to make Praise in the Park an annual event.

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