50 from 50 is Nothing

December 2, 2012 — Leave a comment

It’s simple math really, 50 from 50 equals zero, nothing, nada, zip. Which is what we are without you’re help. It’s been said that it takes a village (smirk). We believe in this day and age of artists making records it takes a community. That’s why we’re asking for your help.

We’re asking 50 or more friends to contribute to the next KC & Julie Clark (formerly the offering) record. We are venturing out to record a series of EP’s based on our learnings over the years. To learn more, read on . . .

The Story
In 2003 we recorded our first record “Awake”. It was an amazing experience that yielded a radio single “Be My Everything”. Shortly after some regional touring and writing with our newly formed band, KC was offered a Worship Pastor position for a local church in Matthews, NC. We were also praying about moving to Nashville at the time.

On a short trip to Nashville a friend shared with Julie a powerful word of advice. She said that “if we would dig roots and invest in community, God would bring the people.” If she only knew how true that has become for us.

The following years did not yield much in the way of music or recording. But it did produce a strong community that leaped walls and bridged gaps across the city. Several years later we are experiencing community like never before. The influence we have been given is humbling and the kinship of our worship community priceless.

Now it is time to begin documenting this journey. We believe God has hidden these songs until now. They are songs of HOPE, and ever-increasing FAITH in our God who has proven Himself faithful to do what He promised.

We are committed to empowering the worship community of the Queen City. We are called to be artist’s as well as mentors in the worship community. We want to lead the way by releasing songs that tell our story.

There is nothing super compelling about recording music. But there is something amazing when we get to share the vision God has placed in us to lead other artists and worshippers. God has called us to lead a generation and leave a legacy. We hope to accomplish this in a few ways:

  • Being artists who produce great art that reflects the Creator.
  • Empower and encourage up and coming artists to do the same.
  • Leading the way for future generations of worshippers. Encouraging their unique voice and offering for the local worship community.

What We Need & What You Get
We have an awesome opportunity to record our first EP in over nine years on Dec. 14th at Gat3 Studios. That is only two weeks away (so time is of the essence). Three artists have reserved the space in order to do the unthinkable . . . produce three albums in one week. Our project will actually be tracked in one day, with further post-production being completed at Stillwater Studios in Gastonia, NC.

  • The initial need is $2500.00 total. This will cover tracking, musicians, studio rental and some post-production cost.
  • Whatever money is raised will be put towards whatever we can get accomplished in our initial tracking on Dec 14.
  • There are several ways you can get involved. Browse the many levels of giving and incentives on the right side of the page.

The Impact
The mere fact that we are recording this record in conjunction with two other artists/groups in one week is definite sign that collaborative community is a powerful thing. We believe that these records will allow us to grow as artist while we continue encouraging the worship community in the Queen City.

  • You as a contributor get to invest in not only our music but an investment in the future worshippers coming up all around our city.
  • We honestly can’t do this without you’re help. Believe me we’ve tried and it hasn’t happened thus far. So your investment helps us a great deal to not only live the dream but experience the calling on our lives.
  • Other Ways You Can Help

So you might be thinking “hey, this sounds amazing . . . but it’s almost Christmas time. I’ve got presents to buy and other things to put that kind of money towards.” Believe me, we get it. We really do . . . I’ve got six Christmas lists on my desk right now. So here are a couple ways you can help:

  • Get a group together and make a contribution. I’ve heard it said we are better together than we are alone. So your smaller gift with 5, 10 or 20 other smaller gifts make a really big gift. Ah, the power of community.
  • If you can’t give a $50.00 gift, look at the other giving options. There are some less strapping options available with some pretty neat incentives.
  • Lastly, If you can’t give at all, do us a favor and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE. It is after all the season of SHARING, oh wait that’s GIVING. Well you get the point. There are several options on the campaign page that will allow you to share via Facebook, Twitter and Email.

Thanks for being a part of this next step in our journey,

KC & Julie Clark

The Church:
River Church Charlotte is a grace-based church declaring and demonstrating the love of God, the life of faith, and the hope of salvation. Their number one value is God’s presence. They want that to be evident in everything they do. They believe that when we come together as a church body, our God is in the midst of us. He is enthroned on our praise. Out of this place flows a unique sound that God is releasing in their church, our city, and this world. God created us all unique. Since God has given us all unique voices, we can bless God in only a way that our voices can.

deep-water-worshipDeep Water is the unique voice of River Church Charlotte. It is a movement of worship out of the local body for the local body and the church at large. Their mission is simply this “We exist to release music that carries the presence of God”. Grayson Berkowitz (Worship Pastor, River Church Charlotte) shares with me these two defining goals for the movement, “Our heart is that all would encounter Jesus, the hope of the world. He is our strength and our song. (Exodus 15:2) His love is in the songs that flow out of us. Most importantly the Gospel is made known when that song is sung and it brings salvation to everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16)

The team that came together for this record is comprised of River Church members and a few friends of this local church body on the outskirts of Charlotte, NC. Grayson Berkowitz (Worship Leader, Songwriter, Guitarist, Producer) who wrote, co-wrote and led several of the songs on the record. His wife Tori (Worship Leader) co-wrote and leads several songs. She is a powerhouse vocalist and abandoned worshipper. Jacob Early (Worship leader, guitarist, producer and long-time friend) makes an appearance as acoustic guitarist and worship leader as well. A voice that is present without being heard is that of Andy Squyres (friend, worship leader, songwriter and all around amazing guy) who was part of the writing team as well. This “A-team” of sorts really captured something pretty amazing in the writing process. One thing that is hard to do really well, is to write in community. This quartet did an amazing job of not only crafting great songs, but they also captured the voice of their church and the movement that God is birthing in and through Deep Water Worship.

The Album:
Grayson shared a very clear vision for this record and an amazing confirmation that propelled it into being. “The Lord spoke to me about stepping up and writing songs for the church. In response, I formed a writing team with my wife Tori, Andy Squyres and Jacob Early. We met once a week in my living room and dreamed up the songs for the church. There was no concrete plan of how an album would pan out or when this possibility could become a reality. One day, out of the blue, our Pastor called because he had received a word from the Lord, “We need to send the worshipers out first. We’re supposed to record an album. Lets figure out how we can do this. God will provide” so that’s exactly what we did and God provided”. When God says “Go” you go and trust Him as He leads you.

The crew worked hard in writing, but worked doubly hard in producing a live recording event where they would capture what would become their first record as a church. Not an easy task, nor a safe one, but one that paid off fantastically. In the midst of all this, the team even captured a music video for one of the songs “You Surround Me”. Check it out below:

DSC_0821After the Night of Worship, the tracks went to Threshing Floor Audio where Grayson and Jacob got to work editing and creating the final product. This may be River Church’s first recording project, but it doesn’t sound like it. The goal was to capture a live experience that was also able to showcase the songs. The team went to great lengths to make sure that the evening was a success. But more than a great recording they desired God’s presence. It’s not often that I hear a record that I’m writing a review for, and want to just stop and worship instead. One Hope does just that . . .

It’s hard for me to highlight any particular moment. It’s all just so good. But if you’re gonna pick some top hits I’d start with “Overcome” a declaration of Christ walking among us, suffering on a cross, defeating the grave and overcoming death for us. It’s a song that ascribes glory to the only one who saves. The title track “One Hope” led by Tori Berkowitz sets our hearts and minds on the one true hope in the midst of fear or doubt. It testify’s to the foundation and anchor that Christ is for us, no matter our circumstance. “You Surround Me” is another song featuring Tori that takes us deeper into His presence. Carrying the theme of God’s ever-present help and care.

You Surround me with salvation, You renew with your song
You surround me with your Glory, and your everlasting love

“I Am Yours” featuring Jacob Early is an anthemic cry acknowledging that God is always calling out to us. It is a song of glad surrender full of joy and passion. Other sweet moments include “Behold our King”. We gaze on the glorious sacrificial love of Christ as He was lifted up in atonement for our sins. “My Heart is to Worship” and “The Bride” close out the record with a shared sentiment that expresses the personal and corporate love for our Savior.

From the beginning of the record to the end each song continues to take you deeper into His presence. From a very corporate expression of worship to an intimate personal yearning, this record lives up to the collective vision of it’s curator’s. It is truly the One Hope that Deep Water Worship wanted to express. A desperate love of God and songs that carry that same love to their local church and beyond.

DSC_0964One Hope has already seen great impact as they have seen it climb charts in iTunes. One of the things that I love the most about this team and their debut effort is that they are so generous with what they have been given in these songs. Deep Water Worship has been giving the record away to worship leaders since even before the physical copies arrived. If you are a worship leader and would like a copy, I’d love to get you connected to these folks. As I said before these songs have ministered to me ever since I hit play the first time. I believe whether it’s to encourage you as a leader, worshipper and son or daughter, or to find a place for these unique expressions in your local body. You need to get this record.

Here’s how you can get a copy for yourself or your church. If you just love worship music please go buy it on iTunes and Amazon. If you’re a worship leader and you would like some more informatoin about Deep Water Worship. Visit their website where you can download chord charts you can also find links to connect with them via Facebook or Twitter.

I’m honored to not only call the Deep Water team fellow worshippers in Charlotte, but also friends. I share a passion for not only their music, but their lives as they express them in worship. That is the beautiful thing about community. We all serve a common purpose but in different ways. If you aren’t a part of the worship community yet and you would like to know more. Leave a comment below with your contact info or sign up for the mailing list in the sidebar. Until then remember we’re better together than we are alone and as always #LiftHigh

– KC

feature_performing20124Hey friends we wanted to share with you an exciting partnership with our good friend Dae-Lee. Julie and I, along with our band will be performing at the first Annual Queen City Hope Benefit Concert. Queen City Hope is committed to educating the citizens of Charlotte, NC about the needs of the less fortunate in our city while creating opportunities to join local organizations in lending a helping hand of hope.

This will be an event your entire family will not want to miss. With this year’s beneficiary, The Harvest Center of Charlotte, the focus will be on gaining new volunteers for their weekly initiatives to assist the homeless.

We will be performing alongside dynamic performances including, GRAMMY nominated producer and artist Dae-Lee, Stellar Award Nominee Travis Greene and DJT Live on the 1′s & 2′s keeping the party going.

Where: N Tryon St & W Trade St, Charlotte, NC
When: Sept. 22, 2012 6pm-10pm
Cost: FREE!

For more information visit the Queen City Hope website. You can sign up to volunteer and also donate to this event. Let’s bring hope to the Queen City!

You can also promote the event using their Facebook page.

Ever since I can remember I’ve always tried to bring people together, always trying to build connections. I’ve always tried to be a bridge for the person who seemed left out or at the very least, not connected. I remember in elementary school always finding myself feeling that way, maybe that’s where it all began.

I was bussed from a predominantly white suburban neighborhood to a school uptown where I was clearly a minority. I was targeted very quickly and picked on daily. One day while eating lunch a husky kid asked me for my apple, assuming I was being bullied I reluctantly gave it to him. He took a bite and walked away. Later that night I got a phone call, Brent Dixon was on the other end. He made me a proposition “Hey KC, this is Brent! Hey, if you bring me one of those red apples every day for lunch, I’ll be your bodyguard”. I was a little embarrassed, because it showed that well, I was a weakling. But, considering I didn’t like being picked on and Brent was capable of taking out at least 2 kids in one punch I accepted. I was a 6th grader, and I had a bodyguard. For the rest of the year if there was a problem I had a solution. But more than a bouncer on call I gained a friend that year in Brent.

Since the bullying problem was somewhat resolved I was able to bridge other gaps in some pretty unique ways. I had a couple of things going for me, I was nice once you got to know me . . . and I could sing. I remember one time I was sitting in class and one of the girls overheard me humming some R&B tune. She said “uh, oh listen to white boy singing’ . . . c’mon let’s hear you”. So reluctantly I did, I let them hear me and from that moment on . . . they accepted me. I had bridged the gap between two cultures simply by doing something I was naturally gifted at. I stopped being afraid and became curious about those around me. This began a fascination at an early age about building relationships and tearing down walls.

I think these two moments are ones that defined something for me that came to light through my High School and College years. I found myself in similar situations year after year. From my fellow artists and musicians, to the jocks, preps, geeks, hoods and every other classification you could imagine. Somehow I managed to become friends with any and every sort. I never thought much about it really . . . I just liked people, all kinds of people. I was curious about who they were. Some of them I liked because they were popular. Some people I reached out to because I felt sorry for them, and others well they were just easy to talk to and becoming friends was just as natural as breathing. Somehow, I was able to gain trust with people. I began showing them the one thing that I needed back in elementary school. Someone will be there for you when you need it the most.

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These defining moments in my life were a pre-cursor to what has become a great adventure . . . press fast forward here >>

This past year for me and my family has been one of transition. Resigning from a full-time position a year ago at a church in Charlotte, NC, only to stay on part-time. Becoming a music instructor. Accepting a volunteer Worship Coordinator for a ministry to twenty and thirty somethings. Promoting new music via album reviews on my blog. Frequently meeting with worship leaders and musicians to build healthy city-wide community. Most recently I resigned from my church of 14 years to step into a new role at a new church in the same city. All of this while striving to be a good husband to my wife and daddy to four amazing kids. The story is not uncommon but it’s specific to me and how it has propelled me to where I am today.

About 2 years ago, I was becoming aware of my desire to build a healthy sense of community among worship leaders in Charlotte, NC. I had sensed my role was changing within my current church. It felt like my dreams were out-growing my position as a creative arts pastor and worship leader. I knew something was about to change, I just didn’t know how. I had gotten a sense that my desire to reach out to other worship leaders from different churches around me was bothering some of the staff and leadership of my church. In their defense, I’m sure it looked like I was job hunting, although this was far from the truth. I truly wanted to learn and grow from other leaders around me. I had reached “my leadership lid” so I thought, and this seemed the natural way to break through.

Little did I know that the speculations were growing and finally I was confronted. I was asked by a leader in the church why I was promoting another churches upcoming album? I thought about it, I even felt guilty for a moment. Then it hit me, all at once . . . all my memories of being the kid that built bridges rather than walls. So I answered him saying “You know that my desire to record music and build a similar culture of worship at our church has always been important to me. Unfortunately, we’ve never had the money to do it. So when I found out about this upcoming record I knew I had a choice. I could either get jealous and gripe and moan about it, or I could celebrate it with them. I choose to celebrate, because it’s the right thing to do.” At that moment I knew that things were going to be different.

Now, I must say that there is nothing wrong with a church asking me to be responsible and have a good work ethic. However when I’m asked to squelch who I am in order to not look like I favor one church over my own. Well, I had to draw the line there. To be honest it wrecked me, I had given several years to this place and it’s people. I had given my very best . . . even at the neglect of pursuing my passions. I was hurt and even worse I felt like I was on trial. I know this seems a little dramatic, but at the time I was unsure of what to think. The thought of not being accepted again was too overwhelming. I had to get out, so I resigned.

I began looking for a position or role where I could start living out this passion, and I didn’t have to look far. It found me in every meeting over coffee or lunch. Every person I began sharing my heart with, not only agreed or affirmed my desire. But many even wondered out loud why it had taken so long to realize it. It was overwhelming to say the least. From this experience I shaped a phrase “When you know someone is for you, it makes all the difference in the world”. The people who came around me during this time truly showed amazing support. It shored up the foundation that had begun to deteriorate. I was excited and ready for a fresh start . . .

I continue to find ways I can promote other’s before myself. To be an advocate for the creative and worship community in my city. It’s not easy and often the things I desire to see God do in and through my art get put aside for the benefit of others. Even though I am now officially moving on from my church of 14 years. I can honestly say that I am doing so with a clear perspective on what God has called me to. This experience has shaped me and is propelling me into this story . . .

There are so many artists and musicians I have met who desire to make great impact by using their God-given gifts. But, just as I experienced . . . there wasn’t someone who was truly “for them”. I don’t expect that I can be that for every person I meet, nor do I expect every person who knows me to do the same for me. Ultimately I hope to be someone who can encourage and affirm their gift and calling. Then once we’ve begun to establish the baseline of potential I hope to help them find ways to propel it as far as God will take it. I often begin or end many of my meetings by quoting the phrase that was developed during this season of my life. It’s a simple reminder that “When you know someone is for you, it makes all the difference in the world”.

This post is part of a group blogging project celebrating the release of Inciting Incidents (Moody Press), a book featuring the stories of six creatives who share honestly about surviving life’s difficulties while attempting to do great things. You can visit the “Share Your Story” section of IncitingIncidents.Org to check out posts from other synchroblog contributors, or visit the sites of the authors: Sarah CunninghamJeff GoinsDave HickmanBlaine HoganTracee PersikoStephanie SmithMandy Thompson and David WenzelIn addition, you can hear more about the project in this NPR-style interview series by Moody Radio.

inciting is here

Also, if you pick up the book in the first two weeks, Moody will give you a bundle of free resources, including two full-length e-booksThe book is available immediately at Amazon,Barnes and Noble or Christian Book.