Revival show brings Christian music and a ray of hope on a sad anniversary

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Christian music star John Tibbs plays during the Revival: Day of Hope show at the Common on Saturday afternoon. (Rochester Voice photos)

ROCHESTER - It may have been just a scheduling coincidence that put Revival: Day of Hope on the Rochester Common on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, but its timing was prescient in an era of renewed anxiety over terror threats, rising inflation and the generally divisive direction of our country.

Truly on this day, a "Day of Hope" was a wonderful thing.

Maddlynn Costa of Rochester admires her henna tattoo designed by Tisa Cory of the Journey Church in Barrington.

"It's all about hope," said organizer Tracy Warren of Rochester. "I just wanted to do something that would bring people together."

And it did do that as hundreds from Rochester and surrounding communities turned out to pray, enjoy fellowship and listen to a half dozen top-notch Christian bands that spanned the genres, including the delightful Heirborn Band comprised of young people all 18 or younger.

There were also several recovery nonprofits looking to reach out to the drug-using community including Celebrate Recovery, Narcotics Anonymous and Reentry Resource Counseling, which also counsels former inmates returning to the workplace.

"We just want people to find hope wherever they need to find it," Warren noted.

The event was blessed with a few puffy white clouds amid a blue sky and temperatures in the low- to mid-70s. Many brought lawn chairs or blankets to spread out and relax for the show.

Also on hand with their own techniques for spiritual exploration, reflection and tranquility was New England Wellness and Martial Arts, who offer the disciplines of karate, Tai Chi and the practice of Rock Steady, designed to help those suffering from Parkinson's disease.

"It's all about building a means to relax," said NEWMA President and Chief Instructor Steven Warren. Sensei Warren's programs are run out of the James W. Foley Memorial Community Center on Wakefield Street.

Several hundred spread out on the west side of the Common to enjoy an afternoon of Christian music, prayer and fellowship.

And for those looking for culinary comfort there was that, too, with local favorite food truck Sausage Express being joined by North Conway-based CheeseLouise, which specializes in artisan grilled cheese sandwiches.

Their sensei wasn't too shabby, either.

Event organizers said on Sunday that more than 300 attended the event throughout the day.

Local sponsors for the event included Brocks, 107.3 Klove, Samantha Jo Music Services, Golick's Dairy Bar, Journey Church, Waste Management, branch96.1 FM, Groen Construction, Word Radio, Threadbare Crafts, PIP Renting, Crosspoint Church and The Rochester Voice.

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