Oasis Fall Benefit Concert
Kingsway Baptist Church Nov. 2, 2013.
The subway was shut down with only shuttle buses running along Bloor Street West as a misty, slightly frozen rain was lowering itself onto the city. It was dark and cold and may have felt like a better night to stay snug and warm at home. But for those who ventured out into the night, things heated up under the lights at Kingsway Baptist Church into an evening of fine music spanning gospel-inspired classical, comic music hall, jazz piano standards, alternative rock and contemporary praise and worship music.
Richard Steinecke stepped out from behind his role as last year’s Benefit Concert MC and allowed himself to be interviewed by the current MC, Joe Abbey-Colborne, the Oasis Community Centre’s new English Church pastor. Joe led Richard in a conversation that ranged over his commitment to a vegetarian diet, the journey that led him to join the Oasis Board of Directors, and his love for the Oasis Community Kitchen. He spoke with practical grace and candor about working across denominational barriers to do something good in the city.
Ramona Matthews spoke with Joe of her coming to Oasis as one of 3 generations; her parents leading the way, and then her son Greg, becoming deeply involved in Oasis as part of his discovery of his call to work with refugees in Lebanon fleeing the civil war in Syria. Ramona said her wish and prayer would be that churches and the people particularly of the Baptist sister churches in her denomination would rally around the good work being done at Oasis.
The young people from Dovercourt Baptist church worship band started the evening, drawing us together in a brief time of praise and worship. Jazz pianist Ed Kopec, familiar to the folks from Kingsway Church, brought us stylish instrumental jazz piano and accompanied Elizabeth Martins vocal arrangements of a few jazz standards.
Yorkminster Park’s own William Maddox and Lois Bishop lightened things up with wink and a nudge, in a hilarious music hall character song about a pining female patient whose doctor admires all the parts of her but still doesn’t seem to love “her”.
Oasis Director, Chris Ortiz and board Member Dan Clarry made a heartfelt call for support for the unseen work that happens under the surface of things that is so important to the health and growth of our work at Oasis.
Special guest members of the “Wine Before Breakfast Band” (Deb Whalen - vocals, Dave Krause - guitar & vocals, Nate Wall - Percussion) stirred our hearts with their soulful tunes, and Gail Malcolm (accompanied by Helena Gintere) raised the roof with her classically framed show tunes that brought our evening to a close.
We are so grateful to the good folks at Kingsway Baptist Church who so graciously hosted our efforts this year; particularly sound technician, Thomas Burnell, ably assisted by Dan Clarry. Thanks to Mina Yang, an extraordinary Oasis volunteer who stage managed the event, and all the other folks who have given so selflessly of their time and energy at this event, as well as week in and week out at Oasis, serving our community and so graciously giving of themselves to build a better community; living out the love that God is pouring into their lives.
And especially a deep thank you to our supporters who carry us forward with their gifts and encouragement, their faithfulness and their prayers. You are our partners in all the good work that Oasis Dufferin Community Centre is part of; something small and beautiful for God.
and God Bless.