(Jan. 22, 2007) — Two music tours sponsored by the Cross Cultural Ministries of the Church of the Brethren will give worship concerts in several venues in the midwest and east in late January and February. The second tour will mark the performance debut of the newly formed “African American Community and Family Project.” Concerts are free and open to the public. Freewill offerings will be received.
The first tour Jan. 31-Feb. 4 takes place in Ohio and Indiana. A cross-cultural music group will present worship concerts and share testimonies, Bible study, and music that emphasize God’s desire for the church to reflect racial and ethnic diversity.
The tour kicks off Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. at Elm Street Church of the Brethren in Lima, Ohio, and continues on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Wesleyan Community Center in Dayton, Ohio; on Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio; on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. at Dupont (Ohio) Church of the Brethren; on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at Osceola (Ind.) Church of the Brethren; and a closing performance on Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. at Eel River Community Church of the Brethren in Silver Lake, Ind., where the group will help lead Sunday morning worship.
Participants are Gilbert Romero, pastor of Bella Vista Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles; Joseph Craddock, a community minister at Germantown Church of the Brethren in Philadelphia; Larry Brumfield, a licensed minister from Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren; Ron Free, a musician from Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren; and Duane Grady, of the General Board’s Congregational Life Teams.
The second tour Feb. 21-25 by the African American Community and Family Project will visit Church of the Brethren congregations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Music will include original songs by group founder and ordained minister James Washington, of Whitehouse, Texas. The group was created to present African American music to the Church of the Brethren–a style that Washington believes has not been highlighted by past cross-cultural efforts.
The African American Community and Family Project was initiated at the Church of the Brethren’s 2006 Cross Cultural Celebration in Lancaster, Pa., and has been developing its mission over the past few months. Members include Washington; Scott Duffey, pastor of Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren; Sandra Pink of Atlanta, Ga.; Robert Varnam, pastor of Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Greg Reco Clark of Los Angeles; Larry Brumfield, licensed minister from Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren; Don Mitchell of Harrisburg, Pa.; and Joseph Craddock, a community minister at Germantown Church of the Brethren in Philadelphia.The tour kicks off Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, and continues on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. with a performance at Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren, closing on Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. with a worship concert at First Church of the Brethren in Baltimore, Md.
In addition, the African American Community and Family Project will be part of the next Church of the Brethren Cross-Cultural Celebration on April 19-22 in New Windsor, Md., and will perform at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, in early July.
The two tours are part of an ongoing series of similar events happening across the Church of the Brethren to promote racial and ethnic diversity. For more information contact Duane Grady, Congregational Life Team, 3124 E. 5th St., Anderson, IN 46012; 800-505-1596; firstname.lastname@example.org.