MODESTO — On a sunny Saturday in San Francisco, members of Stop Motion Poetry rallied with fellow Modestans for an up-and-coming cause.
The May 4 event at United Nations Plaza in downtown supported The Church Collective. The group's aim is "providing resources and training not just for people in my church, but also for people in churches throughout the world," said Ryan Loche, a worship pastor at Shelter Cove Community Church.
Loche (pronounced low-chee) said the group is seeking nonprofit status, but "the paperwork just isn't there yet."
The Church Collective aims to give worship leaders skill-enhancing online educational material and musical instruments to overseas ministries. Its first goal is to raise $1,500 for two guitars and accessories, including strings, for Agape Children's Ministry in Kisumu, Kenya.
"A guitar is so easy to walk around with," said Clark Beggs, frontman and pianist with Stop Motion Poetry. "I think it's a great idea to be able to pass that out."
The guitars will be sent with Brandon Savage, a member of Shelter Cove's college group. He will teach basic guitar skills. After Savage's return from Kenya, instruction will continue through an online database of video lessons built up by Loche and other instrumentalists.
Although the initiative is starting primarily with Shelter Cove, Loche hopes other churches in the community and abroad will join in.
"Ideally, it's going to be this place where worship leaders from all around can come together and pool our resources and training together and help join together."
For their first campaign, Loche and his team set up an account with Fundly, an online social fund-raising platform accessible from The Church Collective's website.
Stop Motion Poetry came to support The Church Collective at Loche's request.
"Ryan mentioned it and asked for our band to play," said Jian Selcado, 27, a guitarist with Shelter Cove's worship team. "We've supported him all the way."
Added Spencer Beggs, 18, a senior at Whitmore Charter: "I know it's a very benevolent foundation. I want to reach people with music. But I also want to do something physical and tangible for people. The least I can do is play music for this organization."
The Modesto-based band aims to produce music "with a positive message that coincides with our faith, rather than slamming it in your face," said Clark Beggs, 27. "We're not a worship band but we try to live by example."
The final member of the band is Devin Beggs, 24.
Added Clark Beggs: "It's really, really cool. It's an original twist on supporting a Third World country. Music has this element it almost has a healing power to it."
In San Francisco, the band and Shelter Cove's worship team performed, as buttons and information cards advertising The Church Collective were passed out. The upbeat music of Shelter Cove's worship team, along with the original songwriting of Stop Motion Poetry, drew fairly large crowds and a generally positive response.
Speaking the day before the event, Loche said that while he hopes to promote the mission of The Church Collective, "we're really just there to be a blessing to people. We're not going there to try to get all our money tomorrow. We'll have little cards to give out to people, so they can see if they want to get involved, but the main purpose is to just show the love of Jesus."
Loche said he envisions The Church Collective making a difference. "Music changed my life. Worship has been the catalyst for change in so many lives," he said.
Loche said he hopes the organization will bring churches together. "I'd love see it being a go-to resource for a lot of churches and missions."
Zachary Senn is a home-schooled junior and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom Program.