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Leading Sunday worship
MARCH 21, 2011
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Former local band member now leads worship team at Dassel Covenant

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

DASSEL, MN - Evangelical Covenant Church of Dassel recognizes that music is essential to Sunday worship for church-goers across the generations, and this is why it has added a part-time worship leader to coordinate the effort.

Jay Asplin, who has been a part of the church’s worship team in various capacities through the years, was recently asked to take on the leadership role to enhance the worship experience.

“He does a great job,” said Rev. Keith Carlson.

Dassel Covenant puts a strong emphasis on the authority of the Word of God and new life in Christ. Its Sunday service is described by Carlson as a free-style, open worship with a focus on music, scripture, and proclamation.

Its members are a diverse congregation with worshipers of all ages, who enjoy different styles of music.

“Ultimately, it’s my goal to create an environment where people can feel free to worship and praise God on Sunday mornings,” Asplin said.

Many in the area recognize Asplin from his time performing in the local band, Cowboys In Sneakers.

As a former band member, Asplin spent roughly 13 years performing Saturday nights at various bars and clubs so that people could have a good time and listen to the music.

On Sunday mornings, Asplin performs for a completely different purpose – to glorify God.

“I swore I would never play church music,” Asplin said, “because I never understood it.” Song time at church, for him, was foolish.

This impression is quite common among male church-goers.

“For some reason, we have this tendency to not open up and experience true worship on Sunday,” he said.

Asplin recently attended a mens’ retreat at Camp Shamineau Bible Camp in Motley.

There, the men let their guards down for worship and praise.

“It was great,” he said.

Asplin and his wife, Maria have been attending the Dassel Covenant Church since they were married there 14 years ago, aside from a year when they lived in Colorado.

While in Colorado, Asplin was a worship leader for a church in Castle Rock, a town just south of Denver, which he found to be very rewarding.

When Asplin and his family moved back to Dassel last May, he wanted to continue leading worship.

He enjoys seeing people open up and participate in worship. It’s also a blessing for him to hear that people were moved by God through the music.

Worship on Sunday morning at Dassel Covenant Church is a blended service with both contemporary music and the more traditional hymns, Asplin explained, adding that there is a full band and also a choir.

“We have a great blend of music, which I think is really important,” he said.

Some churches tend to separate services by music style, which usually ends up producing a generational split, Asplin explained.

“This way, grandpa can worship alongside grandson,” he said.

For more information about Dassel Covenant Church, including directions and service times, visit www.dasselcovenant.org or call (320) 275-3315.

Asplin releases Christian rock album

After what became about a three-year process, Asplin recently released his own Christian rock album titled “No More Pretending.”

With the help of Nate Sabin, music producer for artists such as Sara Groves, Asplin was able to create an album that combines secular rock music with a Christian undertone.

For Asplin, the album is autobiographical in that it reflects on the transition from his life prior to knowing Christ, to developing a relationship with Him.

For example, in the song “Pretending,” Asplin sings about how people can appear to look and act Christian, but not have the heart of a Christian.

“It’s about having a heart and living life for a purpose greater than yourself, and that’s Christ,” Asplin said.

With secular rock influences like Bruce Springsteen, Asplin wanted the album to have a similar type of music genre, but with a message that was just a little different, he said.

“I wanted something people could relate to – something real,” Asplin said.

Asplin’s album can be purchased on iTunes, or at Kirk’s Travel Plaza in Cokato.

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