Ron Strand and my friends at The Upper Room are hosting a one-of-a-kind evening with me, your Humble Acoustic Servant, as part of the mix. Now that we have that obvious detail out of the way, let’s get to the really fun part of the plans. I’ll be joined by two extraordinarily talented longtime friends. First, Hadley Hockensmith will be there with the band PointMade. Hadley is an incredible musician with a “I’ve-played-with-who’s-who” CV that includes, perhaps most notably for over thirty years, Neil Diamond. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re also being joined by “The Voice” … you know, that voice … Kelly Willard! Kelly has been faithfully singing, playing, writing, and ministering for 40+ years (that I know of). I have a wonderful history with both these distinctive artists and it will be fun to be between them on the evening’s proceedings. As I post this, we’ve already got a substantial amount of reservations, so if interested, you should likely click-and-reserve ASAP. BTW, the official title for all of this is: “A Warm & Cozy Family Christmas”. So taking my cue from that, I invite you to come and be warm and cozy with us and we’ll do our best to give you a great evening of music, stories, and fellowship. And, I expect, there will be snacks. You know how I love the snacks!
So happy to be returning to Trabuco Canyon Community Church. I’ve again been invited to begin the day leading worship at the Sunday Morning Services: (8:45 a.m. Contemporary/ 10:15 a.m. Traditional). Then I’ll be returning at 6:30 p.m. for a special early evening Christmastide Concert … to be followed by desserts and coffee. This will be a “free admission” basis but, of course, any offering you contribute to offset costs would be very much appreciated. The Church is in a beautiful setting and it’s one of those great, smaller buildings that will probably look just wonderful during the Christmas Season. The thing that will make the evening, of course, is if you can join with us in the celebration and music. Grab an early dinner, bring your “listening ears” along for the music, and your sweet tooth for afterwards! (PS: If you’d like to bring a little dessert-something to share, that would be appreciated. Perhaps pop a quick email to the Church to coordinate that.)
This was originally going to be a private House Concert at the home of my friends Jeanie and Todd Woodruff. My last visit with them was so good, it was a no-brainer for me to call them when I found out I’d be returning to the area for a Sunday Service and Concert in Navasota. (See the listing below this one for information on that.) But then Jeanie proposed the idea to “go public”. I agreed and so, here we are! Although I expect I’ll play some “general” songs as well, I’ll be concentrating on the music from Christmastide as I always do this time of year. Tickets are $10.00 each and available in advance using this link to a PayPalMe account Jeanie set up specifically for this concert. Your receipt for payment will be your ticket. We’re also keeping that $10.00 price for tickets at the door. This time of year, everybody is so very busy and we totally understand that some people may not even decide to come until the last minute. If you can buy your tickets ahead of time, that will help us with post-concert snacks, etc. But if you need to “just show up”, we’ve made that as easy as possible. If you can make it to the East End of Houston, we’d love to have you come join us. (PS: Jeanie’s cell phone is listed but you’ll likely get a voicemail at first … probably better to email if you have a question.)
Pastor Faber McMullen III has kindly invited me to sing an extended set during this morning’s Sunday Service. He emailed me a few months ago and we were able to make this December weekend work out very nicely. As sometimes happens, he initally let me know that he has been listening to my music for quite awhile and he finally decided to bring me out to sing for the Congregation there. These days, more often than not, most of my bookings involve this kind of connection and I’m so grateful for this. I’m told it’s a small, close-knit Church … but visitors are always welcome. If you’re in this part of the Great State of Texas, please join us!
You can read more about their incredible work by clicking on the links accompanying this concert listing … but I couldn’t be more happy to be doing a Christmastide Set for the H.O.P.E. (Hospital Chaplains Offering Prayer and Encouragement) Chaplains Christmas Party. Thanks to Valerie Carter for the kind invitation. Although they’re having a private luncheon for all the H.O.P.E. volunteers and staff after my part of the program, if you’d like to hear an hour of Christmastide music from me, you’re invited to that first hour. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the music starts at 10:30 a.m. These folks do such great work and this would be the perfect time to meet them and find out more about it. Hope you can join us.
My friends Thom Helmick and Pastor Paul Christman have invited me to be a part of the early Christmas Eve Service this year at Calvary Chapel High Country. It’s a couple hours driving each way, but I’m happy to be joining the Congregation there on this blessed night. The 6:00 p.m. Service will likely be about an hour-long so folks can get home to their families. As it sits right now (subject to slight revisions as I’m listing this on 11/8), there will be a few carols from the Youth Group to start, then a time of sharing Communion together, followed by four songs from me to round out the evening. If you’re in this quadrant of the Inland Empire and can join us, come celebrate! (Please note that Highway 371 is also known as Cahuilla Road, so signs may reflect that as you’re driving there. Also, the email listed is for Thom as the Church email address isn’t working at this time.)
This is going to be a blast. A couple decades or more ago, I worked with Dan Adler at Church of the Open Door in the Twin Cities. He is the founder/director of Heart of the City Ministries in Anoka, MN. I’ll be doing two sets and likely taking requests along the way. I haven’t been to the area in years and I am really looking forward to being back there again to sing. (And, if I’m being honest here, I’m also giddy at the opportunity to possible grab some Red’s Savoy Pizza during my visit!) … Oh, okay, where was I? Oh yeah. From the website, here is a great summary of Heart of the City’s mission and work. Who wouldn’t want to be a part if this?!?
MUSIC WITH A MISSION: USING MUSIC AS A TOOL TO UNITE
Since 1996, Heart of the City Ministries – a non-profit, Christian, multi-ethnic music ministry, has been sharing the Gospel and bringing a message, model and experience of multi-ethnic worship and Biblical unity through the amazing talents of the Heart of the City Worship Band! Now, since 2018, they are continuing this mission through hosting stylistically and ethnically diverse quality concerts at the Heart of the City Music Factory in Anoka, Minnesota.In a time when divisions are increasing and becoming more entrenched, the need is great in every big and small way to build bridges in the name of Jesus.The Heart of the City Band has 11 different ethnicities represented in it with it’s members coming from many different congregations of various Christian denominations.Their music reflects that diversity in style including Native American, East Indian, Gospel, Urban Contemporary, Reggae, Salsa, Bossa Nova, Modern Worship, Hymn styles and others.
Advance tickets are $25.00 through Eventbrite. Tickets at the door are $35.00. (Please note this venue is not currently handicapped accessible. There are stairs involved for getting to and from the second-floor performance area.)