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Faith, Government Partner Sunday for Charity Concert

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Constitutionally separated but mission joined, Montgomery County’s faith organizations and government representatives will come together Sunday for a concert benefiting local charity.

The Potomac United Methodist Church and the Washington Hebrew Congregation will present the Faiths-in-Action Concert Sunday at 4 p.m. at the PUMC location in Potomac. County and state government leaders will address the audience.

All proceeds of the donations-only concert and reception will benefit Mobile Medical Care Inc., a nonprofit that provides free health care to the county’s uninsured residents.

The program will showcase music from the church’s esteemed choir, directed by Rosemary Dyer, and Cantor Manevich of the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

“The concert closes with something I’m very happy with: A medley of hope featuring musical theater selections from the 1930s to the present,” Dyer said. “Every piece in it deals in one way or another with hope and the search for hope.” 

Performers have been practicing since summer for the concert, and while long practice sessions are nothing new for the PUMC choir, known for its music program, this concert is a little different.

“I think this program is unique in the sense that the government is cooperating with faith-based groups,” Dyer said.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and county Councilmember George Leventhal (D-At Large), of Takoma Park, will address the concert audience, along with Maryland state delegate Susan Lee.

According to Dyer, Leggett had a large hand in getting the concert going, though he claims more of a support roll.

“Getting the faith community engaged is something that I’ve been pushing for quite some time,” he told Patch. “There’s a tremendous need in the county. Comparatively we are probably much better off than most other communities, but we do have a lot of concerns. The most effective voice sometimes is people in the faith community who have the mission of going out to help the community.”

PUMC heard Leggett’s message and went to the county Office of Community Partnership to get the concert partnership going. Last year’s concert, the first in a yearly series, raised almost $5,000 and benefited Rockville’s Nonprofit Village. This year’s fundraiser benefits MobileMed, an organization based out of Bethesda and that offers low-cost or free health services from eight health clinics across the county.

Leventhal, chair of the Montgomery County Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, has advocated for health care servicing underprivileged residents. In 2005 he sponsored the creation of Montgomery Cares—a network of care providers for medically uninsured, low-income adult residents of Montgomery County, of which MobileMed is a part.

“I certainly support MobileMed—it’s one of the best causes in the county,” Leventhal said. “It provides care to thousands of residents who wouldn’t otherwise be getting care.”

According to Leventhal, MobileMed is a key component of the Montgomery Cares network, which serves about 27,000 residents a year.

Dyer says organizers hope to exceed last year’s proceeds with this year’s concert and to widen this year’s audience to include those whom MobilMed has served across the county.

“The more you have people or organizations who are much more closely aligned to the challenges we have, the better prepared we are to deal with those issues,” Leggett said. “Pastors, preachers, temples, mosques—they see the challenges each and every day, often times before the government sees them.”

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