Lifted our souls

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Liturgy, when done well, elevates the soul. It connects us with the divine, raises us above the mundane and provides us with a foretaste of heaven. One of the year's most inspiring liturgies was recently celebrated at Cefalo's in Carnegie where Joyce and Bill Toms held their Seventh Annual Thanksgiving Eve Benefit Concert in support of the important work and mission of The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh!

The congregation was enraptured by a litany of rock, blues and soul music as the Rev. Bill Toms and his band, Hard Rain, spoke hope to despair, reminding us all that the best way to be "thankful" during the holiday season is to give something back to your community. Guest preachers included the venerable Sean McDowell of WDVE; blues vicar Bubs McKeg with the Pittsburgh Cobra Kings; and the high-priestess of blues and soul, Shari Richards.

The great German-Jewish poet Berthold Auerbach wrote that "music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." Thanks to Joyce and Bill Toms and the many local musicians who are engaged in the ministry of washing our souls and who give so generously of their time and talents for the benefit of many throughout our region.

Swisshelm Park



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