Matthew 25 plans benefit conversation and concert

May 22, 2013

Carrie Newcomer, Parker J. Palmer and Gary Walters (pianist) will join together to present a powerful evening of song and spoken word on Saturday, July 27, 2013.  The event, to be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Cedar Rapids, is a benefit for the community building work of Matthew 25 Ministry Hub and the development of a Habitat for Humanity house in the flood-impacted area they serve.  The evening will be based on Palmer's book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit.

“We’re super exited about this event,” said Rev. Clint Twedt-Ball, co-Executive Director of the Matthew 25 Hub Ministry Hub.  “It’s being organized by Chuck Peters, who is the CEO of Source Media.  When he was thinking about who could be partnered with to do something related to community building he immediately thought of Matthew 25.  It’s exciting just to be thought of in that way.”

He explained, “The intent of this is to try and keep working on healing following the flood of 2008.  A disaster like that brings out a lot of emotion and can fray a lot of relationships and create situations of us-vs.-them feelings.  This is really an opportunity for the community to come together and talk honestly and hear from an expert who has helped with community conversations all over the world.  We’re hoping that it will be a well-attended and meaningful event.”

Even five years after the summer flooding “there are still many vacant lots and partly empty neighborhoods,” Rev. Twedt-Ball said.  “Habitat for Humanity and Matthew 25 continue to build new homes and rehab homes.  We’ve always had a strong relationship with Habitat.  They were one of the first groups to come in and help with the Block-By-Block program.  It’s a natural fit to do something that benefits both our community building work and their hands-on new construction work.” 

According to the organization’s website, “The Matthew 25 Ministry Hub began as an independent nonprofit organization in 2007 to strengthen neighborhoods on the west side of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Volunteer "book buddies" began working with children at Taylor Elementary and music mentors were arranged for older children. "Groundswell" became a gathering place for youth to be honored and encouraged. Through the grace of God, Matthew 25 was flexible and able to respond to the crises created by the floods of 2008. Joining with others, a partnership called Block by Block brought together neighbors on 25 different blocks. Working with volunteers and with homeowners, over 200 owner-occupied homes were rehabilitated and more than 45 houses were restored. Matthew 25 continues its commitment to neighborhood revitalization.”

To learn more about Matthew 25 visit  

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To see a video about Healing the Heart of Democracy go to: