North Raleigh: Community

Faith in Focus: Raleigh concert will raise money for those in Ukraine affected by conflict

The Bria Blessing Ukraine Benefit Concert will be Saturday at North Raleigh Church of Christ.
The Bria Blessing Ukraine Benefit Concert will be Saturday at North Raleigh Church of Christ. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A talented musician is lending her voice to support people in Ukraine whose lives have been turned upside down by conflict.

The Bria Blessing Ukraine Benefit Concert will begin at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at North Raleigh Church of Christ.

Blessing is a singer and songwriter who was a finalist on a Ukrainian reality television show that is similar to “The Voice.”

Blessing was born in Texas but moved to Ukraine more than two decades ago when her family’s missionary work relocated them. She does volunteer work in Ukraine supporting human trafficking victims, orphans and wounded soldiers, but is taking time away to tour the United States and Canada to bring attention to humanitarian issues that plague Ukraine while fighting continues.

“My parents raised me to take personal responsibility for the world around me,” Blessing said. “If I see a wrong it’s my responsibility to do whatever is in my power to do to make it right. It was never a question for me to help Ukraine or not.”

Proceeds from concert tickets will be distributed to Ukrainian volunteer programs that serve affected and displaced families, orphans and more. Among the organizations tapped to receive assistance is Wounded Warriors Ukraine, a nonprofit psychological rehabilitation program for veterans and civilians who have been traumatized by war.

“In coming together at this concert we can all do what’s in our power to help Ukraine,” Blessing said. “We can also celebrate what a beautiful country, culture, people and nation Ukraine is. Ukraine is so much more than war and pain. It’s beauty and music and rich history and has a deep strength which will overcome this situation and build a brighter and better future.”

The Raleigh concert will open with a performance by Alex Gorodezky, a six-string guitarist and composer who is a native of Ukraine and now lives in Raleigh.

Dr. Roman Torgovitsky, founder of Wounded Warrior Ukraine, will talk about his nonprofit. The event will also feature Ukrainian food, art and souvenirs for sale.

Admission is $30 at the door; children 10 and younger can attend for free.

North Raleigh Church of Christ is located at 8701 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh.

Anniversary concert

Milner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a concert on the lawn.

Valley Grass, a bluegrass and gospel band, will perform Saturday, Aug. 29, along with The Praise Band from the Santuario congregation that meets at Milner.

Activities will begin at 4 p.m. with a bounce house and face painting for children, followed by hamburgers and hot dogs served at 6 p.m. Music will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Milner began as the Vanguard Church on East Martin Street in downtown Raleigh in 1918 and moved to its current location at 1950 New Bern Ave. in 1955. It was renamed Milner after its benefactor, Henry Milner.

The anniversary celebration is free and open to the public. Donations to Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit after-school program for at-risk children that meets at Milner, will be accepted.

The concert will take place rain or shine, and concert-goers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Church open house

Wake Forest Baptist Church will celebrate the dedication of a new education wing and fellowship hall and state-of-the art youth center.

The event will begin at 9:45 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. The new building sits on 1.8 acres of land donated by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is situated on its campus.

An open house for the community will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, with guided tours and refreshments.

Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at