Inspiring Gospel Music Concert and Charity Event at Temple Hill on January 20th
By Debbie Bromley
It was a chilly Monday evening at the reopening of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County’s Safe Car Park Program in West Oakland–a stark reminder of just how cold the night would be for those in the community without shelter.
The safe car park has been temporarily closed due to lack of funding, and ICAC is still in need of funds to bridge the gap during these cold months until additional financial support from the city is set to kick in several months down the road.
To help bridge that gap, ICAC is sponsoring a big gospel music concert at the Oakland Temple Hill Auditorium (4780 Lincoln Ave.) on Saturday, January 20th at 5:00 PM. The whole Bay Area community is invited to join this cause.
This special evening will feature Billboard artist Lena Byrd Miles, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and Destined2Dance. Everyone who attends will be treated to an amazing evening of top-notch entertainment while also doing a lot of good for the community.
Attendance will help support the Interfaith Council of Alameda County in their charitable efforts in the community, especially their work to improve community health and safety and to feed and care for those in need of food and shelter.
Tickets are $20-35 and are available online at TempleHill.org.
At the event on Monday, Lena Byrd Miles stepped to the mic to share a song with the poignant lyrics, “If I can help somebody, as I travel along, if I can help somebody, with a word or song…my living shall not be in vain.” Miles stated that she is honored to lend her gift to this effort, saying, “We are to do as much as we can to help the needy and God repays us. And as we give to them it’s as if we are giving unto the Lord.”
As the cars began to roll in for the night, a spark of warmth began to emerge from all the kindness and service being rendered, making the chilly evening more bearable. The portable trailer from WeHope was standing ready to assist with showers, laundry facilities and a caseworker. WeHope and ICAC strive to give people dignity and the tools to help themselves out of their current situations and into permanent housing and better lives. Pastor Paul Bains, CEO of Project WeHope and Pastor of Saint Samuel Church of God in Christ commented, “WE ALL help make this happen, as it truly does take a village to positively impact a community!” LaMel A. Smith, director of the nonprofit Helping Others Win was also on hand. Smith helps provide a food distribution service at the car park at West Side Missionary Baptist Church that serves about 3,000 people per week.
Dr. Kenneth Anderson William, pastor of Temple Baptist Church, added, “It was with joy to see families living in their cars return back to a Safe Car parking site. Safe car parking is needed in every city to provide resources for more sites.”
Dr. Michelle Myles Chambers, assistant pastor West Side M.B.C. and director of the Faith Program of The San Francisco Foundation, has been there from the beginning. “The San Francisco Foundation was excited to be on the ground floor with ICAC,” she said. “We’re all in on housing and fully support innovative supportive housing models.”
ICAC is grateful to the Haas fund and the Kapor Center for funding support, along with The San Francisco Foundation for supporting the reopening. Also among those in attendance to lend their support were Natalie Walker of WeHope, Tina Carter (manager of Lena Byrd Miles), representatives from the office of Oakland City Council members Rebecca Kaplan and Nikki Bas, and Itay Hod from CBS news.
My husband David and I are the Oakland Temple Hill Communication Directors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we are thrilled to be hosting the upcoming concert at the Oakland Temple Hill Auditorium. What a simple, yet meaningful opportunity for everyone to help their community by enjoying a fabulous concert. It’s a win-win scenario. It has been wonderful to see people of different faiths and backgrounds uniting and combining their skills and talents toward a common goal. These are some really good people coming together to do great things. As Dr. Ken Chambers, pastor of West Side M.B.C. and founding president of the ICAC often reminds us, “Working together works!”
These nonprofit organizations are boots on the ground, out in the cold, and often staying up all night to make a difference. Attending a concert is an easy way to show support for their efforts. Get your tickets now at TempleHill.org.