by Beth Blankenship and Joe Bollig
LENEXA —Some things just go better together.
After all, what would the peanut butter and jelly sandwich be without the PB? Or Batman without Robin?
It’s the same thing for Christians who try to help those in need: It’s better when they work together.
That’s why a group of churches in Johnson County have been holding annual ecumenical benefit concerts for the past five years to collect food and raise money for social service agencies.
This year, five churches sent groups or choirs to the Better Together benefit concert and food drive on Nov. 6 at Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa.
The concert participants were the New City Church Praise Band; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints – Lenexa Kansas Stake; the Lenexa Church of the Nazarene; Good Shepherd Parish choir, Shawnee; Holy Trinity Parish chorale, Lenexa; and the combined children’s choir.
The choirs varied from contemporary Christian music to the combined Spanish/English choir from Good Shepherd that included accompaniment by piano, brass instruments and percussion.
A combined children’s choir, consisting of members from all five participating churches, used American Sign Language while they sang. One girl played hand bells.
Between songs, the Potluck Productions group provided three dramatic readings.
The readings were presented from the points of view of pantry client, pantry staff and a member of the public asking themselves, “What am I supposed to do about hunger? Is it my problem?” Their answer was this: Act locally and think globally.
Concert-goers contributed just under 3,000 pounds of food and an undetermined amount of cash. The contributions will benefit the Johnson County Human Services North West (Shawnee) and North Central (Lenexa) Multi-Service Centers.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 181, chartered by Holy Trinity Parish, helped load the food.
“It was very successful,” said John Rudzinski, director of music at Good Shepherd Parish. “We had the largest crowd that ever attended, at least 800.”