HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Feb. 6, 2006

Local music group spreads faith

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” (John 8:36) is the theme verse for Carpenter’s Tools local concert tour this year.

Carpenter’s Tools is a ministry of Crow River Youth For Christ missionary which strives to “communicate the life changing message of Jesus Christ to every young person, through music, arts and personal testimonies,” according to music director Ben Brandt.

Brandt is also the music director for Elim Mission Church in Cokato. He began part-time with the church and CRYFC in August 2004.

Currently there are 24 students involved with the band which includes several instruments such as drums, keyboard, electric and acoustic guitars and bass, as well as 15 singers.

Local churches involved are Dassel Evangelical Covenant, Dassel Church of Christ, Elim Mission Church of Cokato, and Evangelical Lutheran in Cokato, and surrounding churches in Hutchinson and Litchfield.

Students audition in the spring and rehearsals are in the fall with concerts at local churches in the spring.

This year’s theme is “Out of the Darkness,” which includes music and a drama skit titled, “A Crate Escape.”

The skit involves a man who gets lured into an evil man’s crate. He is offered solutions to help him out of the crate but nothing works until he is presented with the gospel which finally sets him free.

The band provides Christian students “an opportunity to share their faith in a unique way,” Brandt explained.

“It also allows them to come together as one with other communities and denominations and know they have the same God,” he continued.

Every year, Carpenter’s Tools tries to take a mission trip to spread their music with others either around the world or throughout the United States.

Last year, they went to Slovakia for two weeks in the summer and were hosted by Youth For Christ International.

This year, they hope to do something more local but with the same idea of spreading their faith through music.

Youth For Christ is a nondenominational non-profit organization that seeks to inform young people about Jesus Christ so they can make an “informed decision to become a follower,” according to its web site.

Statistics have shown 80 percent of kids grades seven through 12 do not attend church, “those are the ones we want to reach” according to CRUYFC Director Dawn Jelley.

The main club of CRYFC is Campus Life which is a ministry for high school students to “with topics geared towards their age groups including relationships and choices,” Jelley said.

Surrounding towns participating in CRYFC are Dassel, Cokato, Hutchinson and Lester Prairie.

There are chapters all across the state, nation and abroad as well as various clubs to suit young people.

Carpenter’s Tools will be performing at All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin on Sun. March 12 at 10 a.m. and Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel at 6 p.m., First Baptist Church in Cokato Sun. April 2 at 6:30 p.m. Other dates are set for the surrounding towns.

To get involved in Crow River Youth For Christ contact Dawn Jelley at (320) 693-7426 or to learn more about it, check out their web site at www.crowriveryfc.org.

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