The Kalifornsky Youth Band takes a moment for prayer before starting the praise and worship service at the Soldotna High School Auditorium Sunday
Photo By Dawn Fitzpatrick
Arctic Winter Games coaches, athletes and members of neighboring congregations gathered Sunday for a praise and worship service at the Soldotna High School auditorium. The crowd of about 70 people, representing four of the nine contingents here for the Games, clapped and sang to lively praise songs.
The music was lead by the Kalifornsky Youth Band with some songs by the Alaska Christian College choir, whose members were dressed in traditional kuspuks. The service also featured Yupik dancing and music.
The nondenominational event was held because there was not enough transportation to get everyone to the different churches they might want to attend.
“It’s so important to provide this opportunity for them (the participants), since they are away from their home churches,” said Pam Howard, chair of the participant hospitality committee. “It’s an opportunity to do what people want to do on Sunday.”
“Love can give you a life purpose” was the theme, and the speakers’ topics and the music reflected love. The youth band lead songs such as “Your love is extravagant” and others that had love as their main message. The speakers shared how God had changed their lives for the better.
The difficulty of growing up in rural Alaska was one of the examples used by the youths to illustrate the power of love and what it can overcome. The event was open to the community and people from surrounding church groups attended. Free Bibles were handed out to participants and spiritual counseling was available to anyone who desired it.
Student journalist Courtney Proctor contributed to this story.
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