CLARKS GREEN — Clarks Green Assembly of God wrapped up its annual free gift to the community, the three-day Live Nativity of the Abingtons, with its final performance of the year on Sunday evening, Dec. 10. But the church isn’t yet finished with its seasonal gift giving. Its next community event, slated for this weekend, will serve as a fundraiser for the Clarks Summit Police Department.
The Big Band Christmas Concert, featuring Clarks Summit-based musical group the Brass Elves, will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the church, 204 South Abington Road. Tickets are $10 online at bit.ly/2C7t1Sv or $12 at the door until sold out.
Proceeds will go toward the purchase of new cardiac defibrillators for the police department and the goal of the event is to raise $3,000 for the cause.
Michael Warner, pastor of worship and community, explained the church’s motivation for its generosity is that of the “spirit of giving.”
“The theological back story as to why we give gifts at Christmas time is because in God giving his only begotten son to the world as their savior, that was considered to be the greatest gift of all time,” he said. “And so Christianity formed a practice of giving gifts around Christmas time.
“We wanted to, in light of that, do something that would not be for us – something that would not be for anybody in our church – we wanted to help the community somehow.”
Warner added the provision of the much-needed new defibrillators is not only a gift to the police department, but to the communities it serves and the people whose lives they may save. He said the defibrillators the department is currently using are not only outdated, but costly to maintain, while the new equipment will be “the latest in medical technology.”
The Brass Elves, with its repertoire of big band, swing era music, was formed by Ron Leas, former mayor of Dalton, whose son, Jeff Leas, now performs as the group’s trumpeter.
Warner stumbled upon the group somewhat by accident when he first met Jeff Leas.
“I heard him say something about being a musician and we struck up a conversation,” Warner said. “One thing led to another, and it happened to be at precisely the time we were looking for something unique to do for Christmas as a church. We wanted to do something that would benefit the first responders in our community, but at the time we didn’t have anything carved in stone. …When I talked to Jeff and I went to one of their practices, I was immediately sold.”
The Brass Elves’ instrumentation consists of drums, upright bass, trumpet, trombone, saxophones and clarinet. Although the group performs a full repertoire year-round, the Clarks Green concert will feature mostly Christmas music.
For more information about the event, visit cgassembly.com or call the church at 570-586-8286.
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.