Nick Russell, a young musician (my guess is that there is no way he is even 25), was having a CD debut party in Patchogue (Long Island) New York at a restaurant, virtually across the street from the church, at the exact same time that we were having “The Spirituality of Leonard Cohen” at the church as a fund raiser for our food pantry.

Nick has previously played at one of “The Spirituality of Popular Music” series events. I went to his party to purchase his new CD. He insisted on giving it to me for free.  Right next to where he was selling his new CD, there was a large, plastic jar with a sign on it indicating that they were taking donations for the food pantry at our church.

Think about it: can you imagine hosting a really big event in your life and encouraging people to contribute to and attend an event across the street and soliciting contributions for their cause instead of or in addition to your own?

Later that evening, during “The Spirituality of Leonard Cohen” a woman approached me with a plastic jug and told me that Nick Russell asked her to deliver it to us. There was $155 in it to help us to assist people who need groceries. And at “The Spirituality of Leonard Cohen” we raised an additional $1,605 in a little over two hours through the unpaid efforts of musicians and an audience ~ 80% of which were non-members ~ but 100% of which believe in and are eager to support what our church is doing for our community.

It is a “sin” to allow selfless acts of compassion and kindness to go unheralded.

In times when it seems all we hear about is the gunk in the world; in an era when fewer and fewer people go to church ~ let us be reminded that there are still good people who support each other in their attempts at being good people.

By the way, Nick Russell is a fine musician, and we can’t wait to have him back.

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