Delayed concert finally held to raise funds to help homeless

It wasn’t quite the same as their annual Epiphany concert, but several choirs did come to this fundraiser held in Mill Park …

Guests are seated as the annual Human Solutions Epiphany concert begins – a few months late.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For many years, many of the 30 outer East Portland churches supporting The Daybreak Shelter Network, a unique collaboration between the churches and Human Solutions, has hosted an annual Epiphany concert early in the year.

However, due to the threat of an ice storm on January 10, that concert was postponed until April 17 – but then it was held at their traditional venue, in Mill Park’s Gethsemane Lutheran Church.

Welcoming guests are Human Solutions Grant Writer Kim Christiansen, Events Coordinator Sara Fisher, and Outreach Coordinator Danielle Stirnaman with the Daybreak Shelter Network and new Family Shelter – located at a former strip club.

The program this time didn’t include the traditional and moving Santa Lucia Procession, with the glow of candles; but several choirs did come to perform.

“This concert will benefit our shelter programs,” explained Human Solutions Outreach Coordinator Danielle Stirnaman from the Daybreak Shelter Network and new Family Shelter – in a former strip club.

The Daybreak Shelter Network works like this: Eight churches each take a turn hosting the homeless for a week, Stirnaman said.

The Ave Maria Chorus, from Mother Mary of the Angels Catholic Church, performs.

“We have several groups that will be performing today,” Stirnaman told East Portland News. “These choirs are donating their time, giving of their time and their talents – we are really grateful.”

There are no ticket sales, nor do they charge for admission to the concert, Stirnaman said – but they do take free-will offerings during the service.

Warming up in their own church’s side yard are members of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church Choir.

The “unofficial hostess” for the concert, Gethsemane Lutheran Church Choir Director Cameron Griffith Herbert, remarked that their own 24-voice choir also sings during the concert.

“We do this because we desire to help the Daybreak Shelter Network,” Griffith Herbert said. “Some of the churches that are here also support the shelters. In fact we just finished hosting families in our church last week.”

In addition to the raising of funds to help support the homeless shelters, participating choirs and musical groups really enjoy performing at the church, Griffith Herbert commented. “It’s a beautiful facility with excellent acoustics; it’s completely handicapped assessable – and, we have copious amounts of free parking – making this an ideal location.”

You can contribute to Human Solutions at any time: CLICK HERE to see their official website.

>> On our Front Page: Members of the St. Timothy Lutheran Church choir sing.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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