Uniting Through Music And Faith 8

The Faith Alliance Hosts Second Annual Christian Rock Concert

Stroll through any number of parks or shopping districts in West Chester and Liberty Township during the warmer months and you’re guaranteed to find concerts, bands, stages and fun. Our community certainly loves outdoor entertainment. However, there’s one concert near the end of the season that’s a bit different from the rest: Sing Out Against Poverty.

On Saturday, September 30, The Faith Alliance will present its second annual Sing Out Against Poverty Music Festival on the Square @ Union Centre. This free Christian rock festival brings together some of the best Christian music in our area and benefits community members who face issues related to poverty. In its inaugural year last year, The Faith Alliance raised more than $4,000 during the event and expects to shatter that number this year.

According to board president and chair of The Faith Alliance programs committee Bonnie Greenwood, Sing Out Against Poverty is sure to entertain the whole family.

“It is such a neat event,” Greenwood says. “There is great music, lots of activities for the kids and great food. This year we have The Cone’s mobile cone unit coming, too!”

Greenwood has been volunteering with The Faith Alliance since its inception in 2011. The Faith Alliance of West Chester and Liberty Township is a network of Christian churches that see value in working side-by-side to serve the needs of our community. They provide a series of services, share resources and participate in local outreach activities, focusing largely on those who face poverty in our community. According to its mission statement, The Faith Alliance’s purpose is “to eliminate poverty in our community and by our actions demonstrate true Christian love.” The organization does this through food drives, summer lunch program, literacy program, backpack ministry and much more.

For Sue Mahlock, the organization’s director of outreach, it’s this mission that got her involved in the organization.

“I really enjoy helping neighbors who need us. Using the hands and feet of 19 churches and the whole community at large—literally thousands of volunteers—to come together to feed and teach children and families, showing those who are struggling that there is hope, that God cares for them too, is what really drives me,” Mahlock says. “Breaking down the walls between churches’ and our neighbors’ to come together to eliminate poverty is our goal.”

While it’s common to see Christian churches promoting outreach and supporting charities, it’s not so easy to witness so many working together, externally, for one purpose. The Faith Alliance’s vision is to be the organization that coordinates the collaborative external activities of the West Chester/Liberty Township Christian community.

“What excites me is the fact that we’re getting all of these churches together, which is totally unusual,” Greenwood says. “Churches generally work within their congregation for missions and outreach. Faith Alliance is not intrusive to their mission, we simply bring added value to local service opportunities. We basically take on the role of hands and feet of Christ together. We’re out there doing the work, looking for opportunities to get people and solutions together.”

Although all of the partner churches are Christian, The Faith Alliance has also brought together other organizations and religions for help on various projects, including The Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. “[The Islamic Center] has always helped us with the food drive, Feed Our Neighbors, which is in the spring,” Greenwood says.

It’s this mentality of collaboration and inclusiveness that is the cornerstone to The Faith Alliance organization, and it’s what event attendees will experience at Sing Out Against Poverty on September 30. While the event is free, any donations collected will benefit The Faith Alliance programs. For more information on The Faith Alliance, to volunteer or to learn more about Sing Out Against Poverty, visit their website. TheFaithAlliance.org