Rend Collective Comes to Des Moines

Rend Collective performs before a full church on February 14 at Walnut Creek Downtown.

Rend Collective, an eclectic Christian band hailing from North Ireland, and Christian rock band Bellarive, performed two sold-out concerts at Walnut Creek Downtown February 13 and 14.

“Rend Collective had a lot of great energy. They seemed really genuine, and I appreciated their emphasis on community,” said Brett Stewart of Walnut Creek Downtown. “I loved the music, atmosphere, and people. It was great seeing so many people from our church and so many people not from our church.”

Part of their Campfire tour, the two concerts provided the more than 1,200 attendees with upbeat, new-folk music reminiscent of worshiping God with a group of friends around a campfire.

“I thought what they said about the campfire and what it symbolizes was very meaningful,” Stewart said. “We’re all God’s children and equally important. It doesn’t matter if we’re musicians, pastors, or missionaries. We’re all equidistant from the fire – no one is in the center.”

Audrey Van Lohn of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights said she has experienced the campfire atmosphere before and thought it was a great concept for the concert. “It really is a time to be real and share what is going on in life. To have that not only with the Lord but also with close friends is so important, because we can do so much for each other,” Van Lohn said.

Van Lohn added that her favorite part was when Patrick shared about the band’s partnership with the child sponsorship ministry Compassion International. “I think it's fantastic that they support children all around the world,” she said. “He brought to reality how blessed financially we are and how much we have to share.”

The following excerpts are from an Integrity Music review of Rend Collective:

With Campfire, a 12-track collection recorded live on a beach in Northern Ireland, Rend Collective Experiment dares us to re-imagine worship and community.

As Rend's Gareth Gilkeson states: "There are no outsiders in the Kingdom. That's part of why we chose to record around the Campfire. Worship is not exclusive or confined within the walls of a church. It's a flame for everyone to gather around."

Sonically, Campfire is a fresh and innovative take on the new-folk and indie genres, an acoustic project by virtue of the fact that there are no electrical sockets on the beach. The album is entirely driven by classic, retro folk instruments that could be played by the fireside and by the ocean. The result is an album that captures the raw, rootsy, foot-stomping energy of the Irish worshippers, which has been infectious among audiences across the globe, as well as the vulnerability and intimacy of home group worship.

By Tim Laehn
Walnut Creek Downtown

Walnut Creek Windsor Heights Throws Community Super Bowl Potluck Party

Walnut Creek Windsor Heights hosted a Super Bowl party as a unique opportunity to unite members from across congregations and invite people in to enjoy community and a meal together.

“This party was a great opportunity to fellowship across services and locations, and reach out with your kids,” said Jessica White of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights.

The focus wasn’t only on the game. Instead of watching the Superbowl halftime show, Pastor Terry Amann introduced a video produced by the Seattle Seahawks called, “The Making of a Champion.” In the video, numerous Seahawk players and coaches share their testimonies and the gospel in a clear way.

Jessica said her favorite part of the party was its goal, to reach out to people together: “The party offered a door to meet new people who might not come to church for any other reason,” Jessica said. “You tell people there’s food and football, and they’re interested.”

While most of the kids spent the evening jumping in the castle-themed bounce house, Superbowl fans gathered around the full food tables throughout the game. Guests were asked to bring a side to share, and Jon Touchette of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights was encouraged by everyone’s willingness to contribute. He made his own crowd favorite, fried spinach.

“We were concerned about not having enough food, but as always, we had more than enough,” Jon said. “It was a cool reminder of the generosity of people. People always want to come together to help with events like this.”

To watch the video, visit

By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights