Open your eyes

Concert hopes to awaken faith among area teens

Concert hopes to awaken faith among area teens

August 08, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

Nick Hodges, 28, sings and leads worship at his church in Mercersburg, Pa. He's been involved in his faith all his life and he wants to share his passion.

About a year ago he read a passage in the Bible about people's eyes being open to God. Although he doesn't remember the specific chapter and verse, the message had meaning for Hodges and inspired him to act.

He invested thousands of dollars in "The Awakening, a Christian rock concert" held last September in Hagerstown. He established the Faith Awareness Network. The organization, which Hodges describes as grassroots, will host "The Awakening 2002" this weekend at Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg.


"The Lord has just laid a passion in my heart to do this," Hodges says.

He's hoping a couple thousand people will attend - opening their ears as well as their eyes to the music and speakers. The efforts of the Faith Awareness Network are nondenominational, welcoming youth groups from churches and organizations all over the Tri-State area.

Monica Stouffer of Smithsburg plans to attend. The 15-year-old Smithsburg High School sophomore likes the ska music of The O.C. Supertones, one of the bands in Saturday's lineup. "The Supertones are awesome," she says. She says she loves Jennifer Knapp, the Dove Award-winning Christian rock artist who will perform Friday.

How is a Christian rock concert different from a secular rock concert?

"The music is really upbeat," Monica says.

Her friend, Kristy Taylor, 14, will be at The Awakening. The music really reaches out to young people, she says.

The girls, who both attend Ringgold Church of Christ, also are excited about hearing the final performance of 13th Tribe, a band that formed locally five years ago.

Jon Recher, 21, has been a member of 13th Tribe since the beginning and describes the music as a "little bit ska, a little bit punk."

Recher says he is looking forward to the weekend. "It's all about the fans and the friends we've known all the years." Leaving afterward will be bittersweet.

Although 13th Tribe has played in secular clubs, and Recher also listens to secular music, the atmosphere at a Christian concert like The Awakening is different - warmer, more friendly, he says. There is no big separation between us and the people, he says. There is common ground.

Neither is there any separation between the musicians' faith and the music they make, Recher says.

"We couldn't be one without the other."

If you go . . .

The Awakening 2002

Performers: Jennifer Knapp, The O.C. Supertones, 38th Parallel, The Benjamin Gate, Earthsuit, Luna Halo, Phat Chance. Local groups include Witness Protection Program, Forever Moon, Shaddiah Sons, Eavesfall and 13th Tribe.

Speakers: Ben Crawshaw, Bill Scott, Stacey Foster

Friday, Aug. 9: 6 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10: 10 a.m. Doors open at 9 a.m.

Whitetail Ski Resort

Mercersburg, Pa.

Tickets available at the door

Friday: $28; $14 for ages 6-10

Saturday: $35; $17.50 ages 6-10

Both days: $45; $22.50 ages 6-10

Tickets also may be purchased online at A service charge will be added.

Parking is free for vehicles with 7-plus passengers. Due to limited space, there will be a $5 cost for all other vehicles.

For information, call 301-797-7650 or go to on the Web.

Directions: From Hagerstown take Interstate 70 west to Clear Spring Exit 18. Bear right off exit. Go straight at light on Mill Street. Go a quarter mile and take right on Broadfording Road. Go a quarter mile and take left on Blairs Valley Road. Follow signs to Whitetail, 6 miles ahead on the left.

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