Monroe churches team up with jazz walk to help the homeless

MONROE — Four local churches are throwing a block party with a purpose.

Monroe United Methodist, Morning Star Lutheran, Monroe Congregational and Church of Our Savior Episcopal congregations decided to use their convenient locations along historic Lewis Street for good.

On June 18 the

y are sponsoring the fourth annual jazz walk, a fundraiser for Take the Next Step, a ministry helping homeless and at-risk people in the Sky Valley area.

Three bands will play 50-minute sets in the three church buildings, and people can come and go as they like. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted at each church. A break after each set will allow guests to stroll to another building, said Gretchen Wilson, who attends Morning Star Lutheran Church. Her congregation shares a building with the United Methodist church.

Seattle’s Total Experience Gospel Choir is headlining the show.

The jazz walk has raised more than $5,000 for the nonprofit over the years. The idea came out of the Faith Choices coalition — a kind of cooperative ministry of the four Lewis Street churches.

“They worked together to be able to do bigger things than they could separately,” said Gold Bar Mayor Joe Beavers, who attends the Church of Our Savior.

He proposed the jazz walk after going to one in Anacortes.

Other ongoing ministries that will benefit are the Brown Bag Brigade, where volunteers prepare 250 weekly lunches for neighbors in need, and Knitting for Peace, a group that meets monthly to knit for homeless in the area.

It’s a joy for volunteers to be able to keep the ministries going, Wilson said.

“I just love seeing God’s people get together and do something that’s important to God, which is serving people,” she said. “I think that’s something people of all faiths can agree on.”

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452;

Where to watch the bands

The Monroe Jazz Walk starts at 6 p.m. June 18. Participating churches are Monroe United Methodist and Morning Star Lutheran, 338 S. Lewis St., Monroe Congregational, 301 S. Lewis St., and Church of Our Savior Episcopal, 331 S. Lewis St.

A band will play at each of the three church buildings. Seattle’s Total Experience Gospel Choir is headlining the free event. Donations will be accepted.

For more information, call 360-794-2111.

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