by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
Over the past several years, the residents of the greater Rockford community have been treated to “The Blues” and the “Open Mic”. And now those same residents will be able to enjoy another genre of music.
Christian music will now fill the air of Rockford’s Garden Club Park on twelve consecutive Sunday evenings this summer. “What better way, for Rockford residents and visitors from out of town, to spend a warm summer evening than in the beautiful Rogue River setting of the park while enjoying music dedicated to the Creator of all things,” said City Councilman and event organizer, Rich Moll.
The idea for “Praise in the Park” entered Moll’s mind a few years ago, but he was unable to get needed support to make the idea fly. Moll placed it on the back burner but couldn’t get it out of his mind.
All that changed recently when Ethan Ezikian, the Worship Director from Rockford Reformed Church, asked Moll what it would take to hear some Christian music in downtown Rockford. With that simple question and Ezikian’s support the dream galvanized.
Numerous churches in the area were contacted and a large enough pool of churches readily agreed to play a part in this inaugural event by filling the twelve weeks that were planned.
The Sunday evening programs may include Praise teams, duets, solos, instrumental music, and even good old-fashioned traditional hymn sings.
Your reporters, the Hills, were on hand last Sunday evening when the Praise Team from Rockford Reformed Church performed a blend of vocal and instrumental music before a large appreciative crowd. Many on hand that evening were first time visitors to Rockford’s annual Start of Summer Celebration weekend. “My family and I had a blast in Rockford this weekend,” said Cayden Tanner from Orlando, Florida. “And this wonderful evening of music was the icing on the cake.”
Moll envisions each of the Sunday evening performances to be a wholesome event for the “entire family” to enjoy, saying, “The God given faith based talents of the musicians and singers of our area churches are simply awesome. Mark your calendars for the remaining eleven weeks of the “Praise in the Park” schedule. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Praise in the Park” is scheduled for consecutive summer Sunday evenings from June 10 through August 26 starting at 6 p.m. in downtown Rockford’s Garden Club Park located on the east side of the Rogue River along side the White Pine Trail between Bridge and Courtland streets.
• June 10, Rockford Reformed Church
• June 17, Grateful Heart
• June 24, Grace Evangelical Church
• July 1, Bella Vista Church
• July 8, Blythefield Baptist Church
• July 15, Rockford United Methodist Church
• July 22, River Rock Church
• July 29, Crossroads Church
• Aug. 5, Rockford Reformed Church
• Aug. 12, Dick Rounds
• Aug. 19, Rockford United Methodist Church
• Aug. 26, Crossroads Church