“But it’s the only morning I can sleep in!”

Allow me, if you will, to invite you to an opportunity that will bring meaning to your Sunday and fulfillment to the rest of the week. As you lift the covers from your cozy bed, this precious time will bring life and energy to your soul.

Whether you are a churchgoer or not, a believer or not, there is a place for you in your lawn chair or blanket down at Phoenix Park in the heart of Eau Claire at 10 a.m. every Sunday morning from June 2 to Aug. 25.

Just as our bodies need sleep, our souls need time to rest in God, to learn more about God, to talk and listen to God, to PRAISE God as we gather together all while seeking after the Creator of the cosmos. You will hear uplifting music and encouraging thoughts for today’s active (or inactive) community.

What better place to connect with God than outside in creation on a beautiful day! Over the years, I have heard often how people worship God from the fishing boat, the hunting land, the cabin up north or the golf course.

Come as you are, whoever you, wherever you have been and know that you are welcome here. We promise to not cram our beliefs down your throat or use a lot of “churchy” language. Nor do we want to “steal sheep” from another church — just the opposite. All faiths and churches (especially unchurched) are invited to join!

Sunday, June 9, will bring Bishop Laurie Skow-Anderson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Northwest Synod on the day of the spirit and birthday of the church, and Sunday, Aug. 25, will be an interfaith pet blessing with Unitarian Universalists and the band “Breaking Chains.”

As we gather at Phoenix Park, we want you to enjoy the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers, walk the labyrinth or journey down the Chippewa River State Trail. Enjoy a cup of coffee as you reflect on the source of our blessings, and give praise for the opportunities among us. Our vision is to provide “praise in the park” every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and allow that “Spirit” to do amazing things in this crazy world of ours! See you at the park!

The Rev. Jim Ahlquist is pastor at Spirit Lutheran Church, Eau Claire.