MILWAUKEE, WI (December 17, 2014) — Although Milwaukee Covenant Church, a church of just 60 members, faced its own serious budget shortfall, they were determined to raise money for Covenant Kids Congo. So they sponsored a concert featuring world-class musicians Dietrich and Megumi (Kanda) Hemann from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Dietrich and Megumi also happen to be members of the congregation. Trombonist Megumi is a “superstar” in her native Japan and broke what has been called the “brass ceiling” when she became the MSO principal trombonist, one of the few women to ever hold such a position in a symphony.
Dietrich is a French horn player who previously was associate principal horn of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. The couple was joined onstage by accomplished pianist Jeannie Yu.
About 140 people filled the church’s small sanctuary. “The audience was rapt—it isn’t often musicians of this caliber perform at 78th and Center Streets in Milwaukee,” said member Beth Fredrickson, noting that the congregation, which is located on the edge of the city in an economically mixed neighborhood is far from any arts district.
Budgets are always especially tight for small congregations, but Milwaukee Covenant also had been forced to make much needed, expensive repairs to their building. Pastor Mike DeLong said he wasn’t surprised, though, that the congregation would want to raise funds for Covenant Kids Congo.
“When church finances are tight, people can respond in fear or in faith,” DeLong said. “As our family here at MECC entered the fall season facing a significant financial shortfall, the leadership chose to invite the body to trust God, to think outside the box of normal thought. Their response? Faith. Faith that God has a mission, and we as the church are invited to join him—especially in Congo with CKC. It was this faith that united the people and ignited their giftedness.”
The event raised $2,200.