Community Music; The Soundtrack to a Movement

Community Christian Church recently marked thirty years since they first started gathering in the Chicago area with the goal of helping people find their way back to God. Now, with 12,000 people gathering across 10 locations throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, there is much to celebrate and sing about. Lives are being changed and the people are engaged. Something special was sparked within the worship ministries of COMMUNITY, and all involved had a feeling that a profound movement was about to happen. It has.

Although music has always been a central aspect of their services, a new sound began to emerge in 2013. With the addition of the spirited and passionate sound and style of Lucas and Evelyn Cortazio, new, original songs are being born and spreading beyond the COMMUNITY congregation. Their most recent single, “Make Room”, was released on May 3, 2019, and has already reached 70 countries. Considering the wealth of talent represented under the Community Music umbrella, it’s now clear that anything could happen. Lead pastor Dave Ferguson calls it “The Soundtrack to a Movement.”

Although The Cortazios met in the U.S. as teens, they both grew up in Brazil and were steeped in that country’s energetic and emotive musical style. Blending those roots with modern worship and indie rock, the couple developed a compelling sound that connected with young people and baby boomers alike. They came to the attention of Community Christian Church leadership upon leading worship at a church in the Boston area affiliated with NewThing, a church-planting network of over 2,500 congregations around the world that was started by COMMUNITY. “We heard Lucas and Evelyn when they led worship at the Exponential Conference in Florida,” says COMMUNITY lead pastor, Dave Ferguson. “Their combination of passion, style, and clear heart for genuine worship felt like exactly what we were looking for at our location in Naperville. Once they got settled in, the new songs just started coming.”

Now, with the release of their brand new single Make Room (2019), Community Music is raising their sights. “We are committed – not only to bringing a fresh and accessible sound to our own congregation,” Lucas explains, “but to using the mechanism and platform God has blessed us with to serve songwriters and creatives spread around the globe. We’re not even exactly sure what this will all look like, but it’s exciting.” In addition to their own songwriting and worship leading duties, the Cortazios are serving the rest of the Worship Pastors throughout their community through writing workshops and camps. “This is definitely much bigger than us,” Lucas insists. Evelyn leads worship and cultivates leadership among the youth of the church as well.

In addition to their duties at home, the Cortazios have been writing new worship songs with some of the top Modern Worship and Gospel writers in Nashville and Chicago, including Josh Farro (Paramore, Bethel Music, and co-writer of Make Room), Rebekah White Williams (Green Day, Justin Timberlake, Fergie and co-writer of Make Room), Bede Benjamin-Korporaal (Bethel Music,) Justin Amundrud (North Point, Elevation Worship,) Krissy Nordhoff (Natalie Grant), Jon Guerra (Vertical Worship) and others, and plan to continue to record and release new material over the coming months.

The Cortazios, and the entire Community Music team, are regularly serving regionally, and nationally, as often as they are able. “This is something special,” insists Evelyn. “It goes beyond the music and right into the heart and soul of our lives. As excited as we are about the sound, if our worship doesn’t take us past the songs we sing on Sunday, we’re not doing it right. This is about the life we live, the story of what God is doing in that life, and the people with whom we are living that life.”

That’s Community Music.

Copyright 2018 Community Music | FYWBTG™ | Community Christian Church | NewThing