A password will be e-mailed to you.

As part of our ongoing series of Advent Meditations, Jenny Tisi — our Director of Children’s and Youth Music — shares where she finds hope this Advent Season: participating in the annual Messiah Project in downtown Los Angeles.

In a sea of feeling hopeless, I want you to know that this miraculous event takes place every Advent season down on Skid Row in LA. It is a moment of hope and joy. For 3 years, I have been changed by this event:  a place to cry, to be a part of something far bigger than yourself, and to leave with a sense of hope. The Street Symphony Messiah Project gives hope to many of the residents of the Midnight Mission in Downtown LA — and I am honored be part of the 2017 performance today — Friday, December 8th.

Watch this video below for scenes from last year’s event. At 3:58, you will see a bearded man, a resident of Skid Row, Ben Shirley, who is the composer fellow this year for the Messiah Project. I don’t know what was going through his heart at that moment, but I do know that it touched him very deeply and I am honored to sing his new piece “We Need Darkness to See the Stars” composed for choir and orchestra.

Below, hear the story of Ben Shirley. If you need hope, this will work!

I will leave you with the words from last year’s Skid Row composition by Kennedy Center Citizen Fellow, Dr. Renna Esmail. These words hang on my refrigerator at home and read them quite often. These words came from a board at a yoga class for trauma victims. When they needed a break from class, they stepped out, and pulled down a tab of what they needed:

Take What You Need

Take a moment
Take a breath
Take time
Take care
Take heart
Take hope
Take a step
Take a chance
Take courage
Take charge
Take a stand
Take pride
Take joy
Take pause
Take a moment
Take a breath
Take what you need……