Central Christian Church in Colorado Springs will host a benefit concert by Gleewood, a "musky Americana act" from New Mexico fronted by husband-and-wife duo Jhett Schiavone and Callie Sioux.
With a lyrical "vintage style" that evolved on the road as the couple lived in a car and performed throughout the Southwest, Gleewood is a polished trio with two albums and a musical wheelhouse that welcomes all - folk, blues and rock 'n' roll. The band's music also reflects its Christian faith, Schiavone said in a bio on the band's Facebook page.
"Our relationship with Christ requires us to always be moving forward and I want our relationship with music to reflect that," he said.
There's no cost to attend the concert, but a free-will offering will be collected to fund scholarships for youth in Crimea to attend Christian world-view camps organized by the church's partner ministry in Ukraine.
In 2014, Christians living in Crimea faced a new regime, along with new laws and limitations that effectively put an end to the hosting of traditional Christian children's camps, whose organizers could be accused of kidnapping. In response, Central Christian Church's partner ministry adjusted the format from a camp-style gathering to a family retreat, with parents invited along to participate in adult faith-based lessons and activities.
The 10-day retreat is run by Sunday school ministers and youth leaders who volunteer their time. Tuition of $200 per child covers board, lodging and travel expenses, but it's a cost that puts the retreat out of the reach of many families in Crimea. And that's where the Springs church saw a chance to help make a difference, said the Rev. Harley Ihm, whose church will donate 100 percent of the money collected during the concert.
"That's something I've been trying to move the church into - not to look only in your neighborhood," Ihm said. "We're so blessed in the United States for us to be able to have a partnership where we couldn't go into the country and do those things at all, but there's a way for us to do them without being there."