Church Mouse: John Burch Park, Cannon Falls

You will find John Burch Park along Highway 19 in Cannon Falls, Minn.

There were a bunch of guys and their bicycles gathered in the parking lot by the big mural in the midst of storytelling —gesturing and laughing. I crossed the bridge to the other side of the river, pausing to admire the falls. The resident swans were in their pond and a couple happy dogs were doing a meet and greet on the path, tails a wagging.

I was trying to find the best vantage point for taking in a worship service that would be commencing shortly in the old bandshell of John Burch Park in Cannon Falls. Musical sounds were carrying nicely across the playing field. Stepping through the opening near the highway, I commented that I probably wouldn’t stay but could I have a bulletin? Pastor Scott of True North Church explained the little white booklets with the date on the cover were just the song lyrics but said, “You can sing along while you walk.” The acoustics for the band were great at the top of some wooden stairs, complete with the sound of rushing water in the background and these lyrics, “be still there is a river.”

I had to move closer to catch the sermon. Leaning against the corner of the old stone structure worked. Pastor spoke of “responsibility” in connection with “rugged individualism” and warned against “reframing” that is too self-centered — specifically citing teamwork among sports, soldiers and employees.

The main freedom he mentioned was that of forgiveness. He also recited lyrics from the booklet that had caught my attention, as well, “Let my lifesong sing to you.”

Kate Josephson worked as a church secretary in Red Wing. She seeks out religious experiences wherever she goes.

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