The new amphitheater at Cedarbrook Church.

On Sunday, Oct. 21, over 300 people were able to experience two hours of harmony at the first-ever worship night hosted by Cedarbrook Church.

The sanctuary transformed into a concert venue. Modern Christian music filled every inch of the space, seeming like it was coming from all directions; it sounded like it was channeled straight into your ears through headphones, but it felt much different. Headphones detach you from the world, but everyone in the room seemed connected.

The words to the songs were on large screens for everyone to take part in vocal worship together. The unity was diverse. Voices from little girls, middle aged men, elderly couples and college students rose in one breath.

Cedarbrook is a non-denominational church in Menomonie. The church’s tagline is “A place for people who have given up on church, but not on God.”

Cedarbrook’s doors are always open to anyone interested, regardless of their religious background. The worship night abided by these ideas—anyone and everyone welcome.

“Cedarbrook is a church made up of previously churched folks, non-churched folks, wounded by church folks…all walks of life,” said worship director Emili Menz.

Cedarbrook had never hosted a worship night before, so this was an experiment. When the doors opened at 6 p.m., people flooded in. All fears of poor attendance were alleviated.

“Julie and I hoped for 50 to 100 but instead they packed the auditorium,” Menz said.

There were four testimonies throughout the evening. The individuals spoke about their journey to Christ, explaining the hardships that they have faced along the way, and the joys that they have experienced.

The energy in the room fluctuated between periods of high intensity and moments of stillness. Hands lifted towards the sky, bodies danced and smiles laughed with the music. People sat, listened and cried with the testimonies.

“Think of it, everyone there to sing out, listen, learn, heal, pray, connect for 90 minutes. I was right in the middle of my kind of heaven on earth – and I knew I wasn’t alone,” Menz said.

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Rachel Hughes is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Depicting the Chippewa Valley is a series of vignettes written by UW-Stout students about places throughout the Chippewa Valley and Menomonie.


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Cedarbrook Chrurch is part of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination.

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