(Publisher’s note: The About Faith in Action section at the end of this story was removed because it contained outdated information.)
Chelsea First United Methodist Church (CFUMC) will sponsor a Facebook Live concert from 4-6 p.m. on July 25, with opportunities for listeners to donate funds to benefit Faith in Action (FIA). The livestream can be viewed during and after the event at https://www.facebook.com/chelseaumc/.
Linda Meloche of “Around Town” will host the collage-style concert that will feature local virtuosi Brian Brill, Mark Loring, Max Plank, and Cynthia Standefer; Chelsea High School (CHS) alumnae Katherine (Standefer) Grant and Katie Rae Hayduk; and CHS musicians.
The event is the brainchild of Jeanne Franks, CFUMC’s director of youth ministries. Restrictions due to COVID-19 response had canceled the church’s mission trips; the effect on the Material Girls Christmas Bazaar, whose profits benefit FIA, is still undetermined; and the church building is closed, effectively canceling the annual July FIA food drive. “Just because you can’t do what you’ve always done, doesn’t mean that all is lost,” said Franks, who decided there had to be a creative, new way to accomplish the goal.
Franks invited Emily Kuo to help with the effort. “She knows how to put the flesh on the bones with excellence,” said Franks.
Since the pandemic caused the cancellation of both the high school collage and concerto concerts, Kuo hopes to provide a community platform for the young musicians to perform some of the pieces they had worked hard to perfect, while also raising funds for FIA to restock its pantries when COVID-19 aid is expiring, leaving many in need.
Franks said, “The opportunity for these musicians to play is a gift both to them and the viewers. Collaboration, community, connection is what I call ‘church.’”
Sheri Montoye, FIA’s executive director, said the agency has accomplished its mission with strong support from local donors for 40 years.
“Our primary support tool is a well-stocked food pantry,” she said. “When family finances are tight, FIA can provide food so that limited family funds can be used to cover other crucial household expenses. Every little bit helps, and we appreciate the continued support.”
Financial contributions can also be made to FIA through a link on their website at https://www.faithinaction1.org/donate/, or by mailing a check to Faith in Action, 603 South Main St., Chelsea, Mich. 48118.