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Gay Christian recording artist's tour hits Seattle
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Gay Christian recording artist's tour hits Seattle

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Shawn Thomas
March 6, 7PM at
Grace Gospel Church
March 7, 1PM at MCC Seattle


Openly Gay contemporary Christian worship leader, singer, and recording artist Shawn Aaron Thomas has confirmed two Seattle shows for his latest tour, which spans 10 years of music from five CDs. Thomas will perform his unique blend of Christian music on March 6 at Grace Gospel Chapel 2052 NW 64th St. and March 7 during the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Seattle worship service at the Chapel of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, 1441 16th Ave., between E. Pike and E. Union.

"I'm very grateful for MCC because there are so many open and affirming churches throughout the country," Thomas told SGN from a phone interview in Florida. "I've known MCC Seattle lead pastor Rev. Ray Neal [who invited Thomas to Seattle] when he was a pastor in Tennessee. MCC does some very important work within the LGBT community and has always been supportive of me."

Thomas has found great success in music. His full-time ministry began in 2003 with the release of his first CD, Everything I Am. His debut spun two number-one singles, and the album remained on Pride Christian Music's Top 20 for over 12 months. The four CDs that followed have seen equal success. In 2009, Thomas was presented the Ruby Slipper Award by MCC of the Palm Beaches in recognition of his work as a contemporary Christian artist. Celebrating 10 years of music, Thomas has emerged not only as a competent performer and singer, but also as a dynamic and versatile worship leader and presenter.

As the son of a preacher and musician, he grew up around the church and music. For Thomas, music is a great way to reach people.

"Music is important in religion, especially as a form of worship," he told SGN. "Sometimes music can reach people in ways spoken word cannot. It's really helped me bring the message of God's love and grace. Also, no one can deny music's ability to allow people to relate to each other."

Thomas says there are a lot of LGBT Christian artists out there. He told SGN that the Christian music landscape has changed drastically over the past 10 years. The Ministry of Aaron's Rainbow Project, of which Thomas is the worship leader, is a ministry like MCC - open and affirming, meaning anyone is welcome. "My message is, God has created us as we are, and that creation is not a sin," Thomas told SGN.

"This will be my first trip to Seattle and I'm excited about it," he said.

Thomas told SGN the two March shows will be different from each other. The March 6, Grace Gospel Chapel show is "just a concert." The MCC Seattle March 7 appearance "will be part of the worship service." Thomas says Rev. Ray Neal has been gracious enough to incorporate his music into the sermon. "Rev. Neal is great," he said, adding, "MCC Seattle is lucky to have him."

Thomas says both events are free and anyone is welcome to attend. "Grace Gospel Chapel and MCC Seattle have made it clear that these are open events," he said. "Everyone is welcome, regardless if they are a member of the church or not."

Thomas told SGN he is grateful to anyone who shows up to see him perform. His intention is to share the message of God's love and grace through music in order to build unity, understanding and acceptance.

For more information about Shawn Thomas, including tour dates and times, to buy his music and read his bio, visit the Contemporary Christian artist's website at www.shawn-thomas.com.

For more information about Grace Gospel Chapel, go to www.gracegospelwa.org. To find more information about MCC Seattle, including worship times and location, visit the church online at www.mccseattle.org.

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