CHICAGO, IL (July 24, 2018) – It wasn’t quite as big as the Eagles getting back together, but the Lonesome Theologians reunited Saturday night for a bluegrass event at North Park University to benefit the urban ministry Covenant Youth Collision.
The band is made up of former faculty and students at North Park Theological Seminary. They had played together for 12 years but stopped two years ago when member Paul Koptak, professor emeritus of homiletics, moved out of state. The other members are Margaret Brady, John Coomes, Catherine Werner, and Peter Krause. They also were joined by long-time collaborators Omar and Victor Bautista.
“It felt great to play together again after two years,” Koptak said, “and to play for this event and help out CYC is just wonderful.”
Covenant Youth Collision is a ministry that combines the resources of multiple churches throughout the city’s north side to provide youth programming that otherwise would not be financially feasible for some of the congregations. It offers weekly and monthly gatherings and hosts Kids College, a summer day camp held at North Park.
Nearly 100 people packed into the lobby of Carlson Tower on the campus. In addition to the Lonesome Theologians, the evening featured Rita Ruby & the River Choir. Thirteen-year-old Kyla Cisneros, who has been part of children’s music groups that have sung with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera, made her debut solo performance.
Ruby, a member of Grace Covenant Church, has sung with some of the country’s top folk musicians.
CYC executive director Betzy Cisneros said it was an easy decision to pair bluegrass with an urban ministry fundraiser that brought out a packed gathering of 100 people. “The Lonesome Theologians have always been a great draw from our Covenant Church family, and we were really honored at the efforts they made to make the event happen for us. It was amazing how many folks came out to see them again!”