All Sons & Daughters Provides Night of Worship, Worship Leader Roundtable at Walnut Creek

All Sons & Daughters leads worship at Walnut Creek Downtown on March 11. Photo by Graham Gardner.

As part of their “A Night of Worship” tour, popular Christian band All Sons & Daughters made a stop at Walnut Creek Downtown on March 11. Worshipers from around Des Moines filled the church for not your typical concert.

“I thought All Sons and Daughters did a fantastic job of leading worship, and not putting on a show,” said Darrin Miedema of Walnut Creek Downtown. “Honestly, I expected it to feel like a concert. And while the quality of music was professional, the flow and feel of the event was that it was a worship service.  It was a very enjoyable and refreshing time.”

Alex Mentzer, also from Walnut Creek Downtown, said it was unlike any concert she’s ever been to. “I appreciated that they recognized people worship differently – there were communion tables, a table with sketchbooks for people to write or draw, a table for people to give financially to an organization called Feed One. If people needed space or a place to kneel, they encouraged us to find some space,” Mentzer said.

The worship duo, David Leonard and Leslie Jordan, were joined by their pastor and friend Jamie George. Between songs, George gave a message on Luke 7 in which he shared the gospel and talked about how God meets us in our loneliness.

“I sat in the front row and got to watch people take communion,” Mentzer said. “It was beautiful knowing they were all taking time to remember what God had done in their lives, and it was a great time for me to reflect on how God redeemed me and revel in the deep love God has for me.”

Miedema said one of his favorite parts of the night was seeing so many Christians from different churches in Des Moines worshiping together at one event. “Different churches have different visions, different stances on certain issues, and different cultures, but ultimately we should look for opportunities to love and serve one another and be united in the advancement of God’s Kingdom,” he said.

Worship Leader Roundtable

Worship leaders from Des Moines area churches were invited to take part in a roundtable discussion with All Sons & Daughters at Walnut Creek Downtown prior to the show on March 11.

“It was encouraging to see other people’s passion for music and leading their congregation into greater affection for Jesus,” said Miedema, a worship leader at Walnut Creek Downtown. “It was also encouraging to know that there are many other people faithfully serving in this area and managing the sacrifices that it requires.”

By Tim Laehn
Walnut Creek Downtown

Upward Season Ends With a Spin

The Crevier family performs their Spin-tacular Basketball Show before attendees of the Upward Awards Ceremony on March 8. Photo by Audrey Van Lohn

Another successful season of Upward basketball through Walnut Creek Church closed Saturday with an exciting awards ceremony. The Crevier family, who travels the world with their unicycle-riding, basketball-spinning Spin-tacular Basketball Show, performed and presented the gospel before a packed gym of Upward basketball players, cheerleaders and their families. Also during the ceremony, all the Upward players were announced, and all cheer squads performed a cheer or dance.

More than 650 basketball players and 100 cheerleaders from grades kindergarten through eighth participated in this year’s season, making it the biggest season to-date. “The season went very well for us,” said Kyle Kurtenbach of Walnut Creek Downtown, who serves on the Upward basketball board. “The Lord provided all of the volunteers we needed,” he said, adding that there was more emphasis placed on lining up community groups to provide volunteers for refs, concessions, and scoreboards at weekend games.

Throughout the nine-week season, games were held at three different Des Moines area locations: Merrill Middle School, Walnut Creek Downtown, and Walnut Creek Windsor Heights.

As in previous years, a devotional video was shown during halftime of each game. The theme of this year’s devotionals was “The Validity of the Bible.” Each week, a Walnut Creek pastor provided a brief video presentation on topics such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The pastors also used the opportunity to share the gospel with the kids and their families and to tell them how much God loves them and what it means to be a follower of Christ.

“Upward brings a Christ-centered league to Des Moines and a major opportunity to reach kids and families with the gospel,” Kurtenbach said. “It also teaches kids the fundamentals of basketball while keeping in perspective the role sports should play in comparison to God.”

In addition to Kurtenbach, other Upward basketball board members include Dave Rude, Chrissy Bloom, Rachel Bohacek, Becca Close, KayDee Cross, Jen Engdahl, Jordan Harlow, Blake Kruger, Ricki Meyer, Leah Wake, Joel Winters and Marc Wright.

By Tim Laehn
Walnut Creek Downtown