Why This Matters…
This poem by theologian and civil rights leader Howard Thurman captures the meaning of this album and concert, and is the text for the closing song on the original Joy To The Burg 2019 album by Susquehanna Chorale. At Christmas, Christians reflect on the gift of Jesus bringing hope and proclaiming peace on earth. And this hope and peace is meant to be shared. Christian Churches United (CCU) seeks to bring churches and concerned neighbors together to be bearers of this hope and peace.
By purchasing these albums, giving them as gift, or making a donation you are supporting the most vulnerable members of our community. In 1972 major flooding from Hurricane Agnes devastated the Harrisburg region. Churches and concerned community members united to form a flood assistance fund. Out of this collaboration, the vision for Christian Churches United (CCU) was born as an agency that would rally the church community and other partners to love our neighbors in need. When Sheldon Jones approached us with the idea for Joy To The Burg, we were reminded of the grassroots efforts that birthed CCU.
It has been both humbling and inspiring to see artists and their fans rally to the cause, especially during a year that has been extremely difficult for local musicians with concerts canceled and performance venues shut down. Last winter, funds raised by Joy To The Burg allowed us to open a new women’s winter shelter in Harrisburg, and connect those on the street with long-term housing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these efforts are more vital than ever :
The women’s winter shelter must continue but with expanded space, increased protocols and additional staffing.
Since more people are on the verge of homelessness due to unemployment, CCU has been helping hundreds of individuals and families pay their rent.
For those on the street, CCU has been providing tangible supports (food, masks, clothing, etc.), hotel stays when shelters were in lockdown, and assistance to get and maintain their own long-term housing.
Proceeds from your album purchase support all these efforts, as album production costs were covered by generous sponsors. Thank you for bringing Joy To The Burg in 2020 and beyond!
- Steve Schwartz, CCU Director of Development