Two Rivers United Methodist Church is going to host the 26th Lenten Concert Series. The lineup is an exciting mix of classical, jazz, blues, and folk music. These concerts are perfect for a lunch-hour break, starting shortly after noon, and ending before 1:00. These are all Wednesday afternoons, starting February 21.
Lenten Concerts 2018
2/21 Bret Dale and the RME Travelers
2/28. Rock Island High School Jazz Band
3/7 Rockridge Madrigal and Show Choir
3/14 Rob Leveridge, Music for Peacemaking and the Common Good
3/21 Craig Irvin , American Baritone
3/28 Edgar Crockett and Dave Holcomb, Jazzmen
On July 23, Two Rivers United Methodist Church will present a special day of worship featuring music from The Beatles. Members of the Quad Cities’ own “Generations Band” will help lead the church in worship with classic Beatles songs such as “Help,” and “All You Need is Love.” The service will be built much like a regular worship service, but all the music will be provided by the band in an acoustic style. Pastor Robb McCoy, a long time Beatles fan, will share a message of love, hope, and peace.
The day will be a fun time of worship, and is a great chance to invite people to experience a new kind of worship service. According to Pastor Robb, “This is further evidence that we are willing to have a little fun, and try something new in worship.” The service will begin at 9:30 as usual, and people are encouraged to invite others to this special experience.
Wednesday Nights are Live at Two Rivers Church. Starting with a shared dinner at 5:30, activities for kids, youth, and adults flow during the rest of the night. The Bell Choir is open to anyone agge 13 and over. The weekly rehearsals are preparation for monthly musical offerings in worship. Usually the Bell Choir provides the prelude music in worship once a month. At the same time, kids and youth are invited to a combined time of games and activities, usually using the BB-8 Sphero robots. These fun and interactive robots provide a host of games and challenges, encouraging kids and youth to built, create, and experiment with the spheros. In addition to the MakerSpace Games, kids and youth will do other activities like learning African praise songs, art projects, and praise dance. All of these activities end just before 7:00, so there is time to do the next set of activities.
At 7:00, the kids from K-6 go to Kids Club while the Junior High and High School students go to TRY (Two Rivers Youth). The kids work together through a chapter of the Pockets kids devotional and then play games together. The youth work through a week of the Devozine youth devotional.
At 7:30, the Choir begins rehearsal. The choir is directed by Mark Swessinger, and provides a beautiful anthem each Sunday in worship. No level of expertise in singing is required. All are welcome to come and be a part of this vital ministry of the church.
As the summer gives way to autumn, Two Rivers Church will host several special guest musicians as a part of a new worship series called “Roots: The Good News of celebration, struggle, truth-telling, and American roots music.”
Local Blues legend Ellis Kell will join us in worship on August 21. The blues are widely considered to be the root of most American music. With origins in the call and response songs of slave fields, the blues have been a source of expression and hope for generations.
On August 28, members of the Quartermoon Tin Snips will share their bluegrass style with a mix of classic gospel bluegrass tunes.
On September 4, Edgar Crocket will be a part of Jazz Sunday, which has become a Two Rivers tradition over the past few years.
September 11 will feature the return of the Sanctuary Choir and the beginning of a new season of Sunday school.
On September 18, we will go back to the deepest roots of our music and faith with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, who marries the Psalms with modern folk melodies.
Musical lineup set for Lion and Lamb Festival
A full day of free concerts has been lined up for the Lion and Lamb Festival, and there is something for everyone. Folk, Rock, Pop, spoken-word poetry, and Blues artists from around the region will converge for a day, “to inspire and be inspired by music, art, and stories of love, justice, hope, and peace.”
This free event will take place again at Camp Milan Retreat Center in Milan. It is free to the public. The first concert will start at 11 a.m. on September 17, and will last until the headline act, Ellis Kell Band, finishes around 8:00 p.m. “At the end of his set, Ellis has promised that anyone who wants to will be invited to join him and the band for an impromptu jam,” said organizer Robb McCoy.
There are a few groups who will be returning after back after enjoying the 2015 festival. Nick Bifano and the Innocents is a rock band from Saint Louis who cranked up the energy in 2015. They claim to be a “good-old American rock and roll band,” with driving guitars and an energetic performance, it is difficult to sit still with these guys on the stage.
Also returning is Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, who represents the opposite end of the energy spectrum. A man of deep conviction and peace, Richard’s life work has been putting Psalms to modern music and melody. He is committed to the truth, struggle, joy, pain, and love that are found in the Psalms. He also has a large repertoire of kids’ songs, and has been known to sing about eating bugs.
David G. Smith is a local musician who appears often in and around the Quad Cities. He is a pure American roots musician with a particular passion for Alzheimer’s awareness. His song, “In the Silence,” is heartfelt tribute to two men in his life who suffer from the debilitating disease.
Katie and Jacob Eckeberger, the married duo that makes up My Anchor Holds “recognizes that human spirituality is one of the most ragged and yet beautiful parts of life. Honesty, love, and good music are always our priority.” Katie’s voice is as powerful as their lyrics, they are sure to bring an emotional reaction.
Spoken-word poet Emily Joy, and singer-songwriter Sara Quah will come up from Bloomington, Illinois. Two other male rock/folk singers will fill out the lineup. Jason Ropp will be coming from Goshen, Indiana. Nate Bjorge will bring his whole band from the Chicago area.
All of the music will take place under a covered stage outside at Camp Milan Retreat Center. This historic camp ground is full of giant okay trees, a playground, and a basketball hoop. Also outside will be a marketplace for artists and handcrafted vendors. Vendor space is still needed, and reserving a booth is free. Vendors can apply at the website lionandlambfest.com/apply
At the same time of these great musicians, there will be speakers inside the climate-controlled retreat center. They will be speaking on a variety of topics, including immigration, domestic violence, human trafficking, Biblical justice, and interfaith peace.
Food will be available through local food trucks. Camp Milan Retreat Center is a short jog off of US Route 67, just south of Milan. The address is 1328 127th Avenue. If heading south on US 67, turn left on 127th Ave, then a quick right on 13th Street to get to the parking entrance. For more information, go to lionandlambfest.com, or check LionAndLambFest on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Photos of all the artists are available upon request. Call Two Rivers United Methodist Church at 309-788-9384 to talk to Pastor Robb McCoy for more details.