By Teresa Sherwood
Director of Mission Ministries,
First United Methodist Church Mansfield
First United Methodist Church Mansfield is involved in a most remarkable project and we would like to invite all of the churches of our Central Texas Conference to join us.
Carry the Light is an ecumenical gospel concert with performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, at Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth. The concert will feature a mass choir with participants from numerous Metroplex churches.
All proceeds from this concert will directly benefit ZOE Ministry (http://www.zoeministry.org/), a highly successful empowerment program for African orphans, which has been supported by conference mission teams.
In 2006, FUMC Mansfield spearheaded the first such concert, Field of Souls. It was an inspiring event, bringing together eight churches from four denominations, and raising over $60,000 for ZOE Ministry.
That concert set a record at Bass Hall for the number of performers on stage for any event, as well as a record in revenues for any benefit. Our goal for 2010 is to completely fill Bass Hall for two concerts, raising over $100,000.
We have been involved with ZOE Ministry for six years. ZOE’s efforts serve vulnerable African children in Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia with a relief ministry, which includes food aid, medical care, education fees, clothing programs and clean water projects.
But the hallmark of ZOE is the Giving Hope Empowerment Project. Developed and overseen by Epiphanie Mujawimana of Rwanda, the core focus of Giving Hope is to empower orphans and child-led families to become self sufficient in two to three years so they will not require lifelong assistance from outside relief programs.
The program centers on community building and empowering lives in order to bring the children back into both their local communities and into the loving, nurturing body of Christ. There are currently more than 10,000 children in this program.
A mission team from FUMC Mansfield traveled to Rwanda July 7-17. There we had the opportunity to meet some of these remarkable children and hear their stories of struggle and transformation. It is especially meaningful to see the fruits of our gifts lived out in the lives of these kids.
FUMC Mansfield has made a commitment of $250,000 to sponsor 1,000 children in the three-year Empowerment Program. The proceeds from the Carry the Light concert will be one part of meeting that commitment.
All information regarding the concert can be found at www.carrythelight2010.org, including a link to purchase tickets, become a concert sponsor, learn more about ZOE and hear an excerpt of the concert music.