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Houses of worship share ‘One Voice’

Posted: February 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Jeremiah Brinegar, right, 30, and Ashley Melanson, 19, watch the One Voice benefit concert held at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita on Friday.

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Twelve worship leaders from 11 churches around the Santa Clarita Valley came together Feb. 10 to participate in the second One Voice concert. The event, which started last July, is designed to unite people and churches under one roof to celebrate God.

The concert was held at Grace Baptist Church in Valencia, and more than 1,000 people attended. The creators of this event, Liz Bonaventura and Aaron Koester, hoped to foster more than collaboration and unity through the event.


Making a difference

“Unification between churches is a driving force,” Bonaventura said. “Now what can we do with it? I would love for this to be inspiring and a great springboard to what we can do together to make a difference in the Santa Clarita Valley.”

The concert was offered free of charge and was open to everyone in the community. During this event, the One Voice team asked attendees to bring gently used clothing items.

The team collaborated with Making A Difference Ministries, which collects clothing to distribute to the homeless and families that are struggling here in the valley.

Koester expressed his outlook of achieving unity with the churches between concert times.

“What can we all do to show the love of Christ within us?” he asked. “When we love each other, we can spread his message.”

Now with even more churches involved, the idea of unity and collaboration is really coming together, but the team has even bigger ideas.

“This event showed me that people really do care about this,” Paul Hoover of Crossroads Community Church said. “It is communicated through the diversity of the people involved and the diversity of the music.”

The group performed 13 songs paired with vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, drums and bass. They call their style of performance a “pop worship band approach.”

After the last One Voice concert, the team was approached by many churches, some even from the San Fernando Valley, to join the One Voice effort.

Although they would love to have many churches join, their true hope is to help churches in different areas create their own One Voice concerts and effort for church unity.

“We would love to see churches from the (San Fernando) Valley, Palmdale and Bakersfield all get up and running with their own One Voice,” Koester said.


Lasting friendships

Ryan Knight of Grace Baptist Church felt it was important not to “trump the idea of church unity.”

“We felt we should let this flow naturally,” Knight said.

“I couldn’t have gotten through this year as a worship leader if it wasn’t for the help of these guys walking alongside of me as I led in my own church,” Koester said.

“This experience has allowed me to walk away with some of the best friends that I never expected to have, people I admire and respect and love their hearts for worship,” Knight said.


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