News of a local United Methodist Church in Seattle's effort in October to reach out to the community with the help of a high school band and choir is spreading to a wider audience.
In an article published on Christmas Day on the blog of the Pacific Northwest Conference UMC, a ministry member tells of her hope related to the event. The news is also being published in the December newsletter of the PNCUMC called "Channels."
"I think tonight we have just started on a new road," says Phyllis Reynolds, a member of United Methodist Women for Grace United Methodist Church. Grace UMW helped coordinate the event.
"That includes more involvement in the community. And we were able to do that tonight, with the choir and the band. By letting people know we are available in the community to work with other organizations, I think that is a great thing. We are on our way!"
The event called the 'Grace Notes!' concert featured the Jazz Band from Franklin High School and Shades of Praise & Jubilation Choir of St. Therese Parish. The concert also served to support the building improvements of the church.
Grace Church's pastor Larry Blackstock says the event was a model of future events to help reach out to new people within the local community.
"This kind of higher-energy event that's attracting younger people is kind of a multi-faceted thing; the choir was a piece of it," he said.
The planning for the event took three months. Pastor Blackstock said a few "bright-eyed and excited" people began talking about possibilities, providing the spark for the event.
"When you see that spark, the team is already formed – rather than say 'Let's do this, THEN try to get people involved.' When you see that energy happening, it's like God's formed this thing for you…now, move!" he said.
Pastor Blackstock says for the next concert event the church will target busier streets filled with more people and churches to build new partnerships with the community.
Members of the Praise & Jubilation Choir of St. Therese Parish participate in the Grace Notes! Concert at Grace United Methodist Church in Seattle, Washington on October 20, 2012. Photo Credit: Grace United Methodist Church