USA: Benefit Concert Inspires Togetherness and Peace
Lights illuminated the stage in a multi-color array, as the countdown to the Peace Starts with Me Hyojeong Benefit Concert reached its final seconds. An amalgam of artists came together at the Manhattan Center on Saturday, May 25, to celebrate unity, promote peace, and raise funds for a meaningful cause.
Concertgoers of all ages gathered to celebrate Hyojeong, a Korean phrase meaning a “culture of filial piety,” or a culture of heart. The concert brought people from different faiths and backgrounds together in a celebration of music. Viewers who could not be there in person tuned into the live broadcast from states across the country, including, California, Florida, and Ohio. Rev. Demian Dunkley, President of the Family Federation for a Heavenly USA, who emceed the concert, hopes it will inspire a “handshake between churches.”
All of the funds raised from the concert will go directly to the City of Refuge Church, for their “pick up an instrument instead of a gun” initiative aimed at helping inner-city youth in southern Los Angeles. Throughout the night, donations to the cause more than doubled. Citizen Way, a chart-topping Christian rock band who headlined the concert, donated ten percent of their merchandise revenue to the City of Refuge.
“This campaign is not just going to be in LA, it is going to take off around the world. If we start in this generation, ten years from now we will reap the benefits of what we are doing today,” said Elder Edwin Perry, co-pastor of the City of Refuge.
The delight of the crowd was evident. As each artist took the stage, they brought their unique vigor. Some, like Shuji Hata and Elilo, mesmerized onlookers with their sheer musicality, while others, like The Group Fire and the LA Band, brought the audience to their feet with ardor.
Highlights of the night included Jason McGee and the award-winning choir P.S.A.L.M.S., who brought energy to the room with “The Blood Still Works.” Citizen Way enlivened the electric audience, running through the crowd as they sang out in praise. In tandem with the City of Refuge’s cause, lead singer Ben Calhoun called out, “We don’t need any weapons other than the words of God.”
It’s not too late to give to the City of Refuge! Help us reach our goal.