Connections Benefit for Haiti: This Friday Night

Incredibly, I have not posted about Friday’s show on my own blog. I’ve left word a dozen times or more on Facebook. I did mention it as a part of the entry on UMCOR. But no entry on its own…so here goes….

Our Friday show, which already would have been special to me since it’s at Northaven, will now be a very powerful evening. And, we’re hearing anecdotally, possibly a huge crowd.

Here’s the info from the band webite, cross posted here:

Connections SuperHits of the 70s
A Benefit for Haiti, through UMCOR
Friday, January 22nd 7 pm
Northaven UMC
11211 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230

The two sets include classics from Fleetwod Mac, Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller, and Earth Wind and Fire. There are ballads from Harry Chapin (“Cats in the Cradle”), and rockers from Steely Dan (“Reelin’ in the Years”).

You’ll be singing along on every song and once again be pleased by our most ambitious concert yet. More than 25 musicians, including full brass and strings, will provide the music for the night.

As long term fans will know, we are passionate supporters of UMCOR. During our shows, we often talk about their unparalleled ability to deliver emergency aid to difficult and challenging situations. This is certainly one of those moments. So, while we would never wish for any natural disaster: the mission of our band and the timing of this show have combined to make this a potentially powerful evening.

When tragedies like this strike, everyone asks, “What can we do?”

One of the clearest and most often cited responses is: “Give to a worthwhile and trusted charity who will do good work on the ground.”

UMCOR is one of those groups, and we are proud to be in partnership with them already. As you may have heard, the head of UMCOR was killed in Haiti this past week, one of three United Methodist-related deaths in Haiti in a period of three days.

The scope of the tragedy can seem overwhelming, with hundreds of thousands of Haitians dead, and some near and dear to those in the Dallas area, also seriously injured or killed.

Band member Eric Folkerth has been on mission in Haiti before, and so we’ll have pictures and stories of actual work on the ground there to share. Here’s a message from Eric:

“I have a special place in my heart for the people of Haiti. As someone who went on five mission trips there in the 1990s, I can tell you that my heart is broken, as I am sure yours is too. Perhaps it might seem like too flippant a thing to consider a concert at this time.

Far from it! Helping Connections fulfill its mission to raise funds for UMCOR is one of the most tangible things each of you can do to help. Not everyone can go to Haiti. But as someone who has, I can assure you that your presence at our show will make a difference!

And, on a personal note, it will do my own heart and soul good to know that, in our singing for you that night, we will be spreading a little light to my friends who are suffering in Haiti. We WILL make a difference.

I hope you’ll join us for what will certainly be a special evening of music and mission.”

To date Connections has raised more than $73,000 for worthy charities.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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