AGAPE* (Dave Scherer) will perform at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Spring Valley this weekend.
SUBMITTED PHOTO
AGAPE* (Dave Scherer) will perform at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Spring Valley this weekend. SUBMITTED PHOTO
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Hip-hop is coming to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Spring Valley this weekend.

AGAPE*, the ministry of Dave Scherer, has inspired hundreds of thousands of people from Brooklyn to Bosnia with his relational ministry "Hip Hop Outreach."  Scherer connects with listeners by combining rapping, dancing, storytelling and his fluency in Spanish.

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church has invited AGAPE* and poet Joe Davis to share in its worship at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, and for the 9 a.m. worship and Sunday school on Sunday, Jan. 7. The Saturday evening event will include free pizza after the service.

AGAPE* and Davis travel together as part of the Reformation Remix, or R2, Tour, a creative dialogue that explores issues of race and faith through music, storytelling  and poetry.

In Greek, the word used to describe God’s unconditional love is “agape,” – For God so loved the world, as stated in John 3:16.  This message of God’s love without boundaries is the foundation of AGAPE*, Scherer’s ministry. 

“It’s the love that persists in spite of hatred, ignorance and sin. It’s the love that conquers death by pouring itself out for the sake of an enemy,” explained hip-hop artist AGAPE*’s website.

AGAPE* is actually an acronym: The A at the beginning stands for African American/Asian American/Arab American. The E at the end represents the European American, and the GAP “represents the expansive space that currently exists between us in our society.  Not just confined to cultural barriers, we are also divided along lines of economics, ideology, politics, etc.  The only way to truly bridge this divide is through God’s compassionate and boundless love, known as agape,” noted the ministry’s website. 

AGAPE* has recorded 10 albums and recently published a book entitled “Agap-ology.”  He promises that his energy is contagious, and his stories of faith transcend differences. Even those who do not normally enjoy hip-hop find themselves dancing to his music and captivated by his unique presentation of the Gospel. 

AGAPE* brings an authentic approach by translating the theological depth of his seminary training into simple songs and stories that can be understood by every listener, according to his biography. His passion is to bring together people of all backgrounds and let them know about God’s love for the whole world.

“We are very excited to have AGAPE* come to Spring Valley,” said Our Savior’s member and event organizer Gina Jahn. “Many young people saw him perform on the main stage of the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering at Ford Field, where he was a featured performer. Some of the staff were able to hear him at Luther Seminary, and some of our youth saw him at the last Youth Gathering. He has a unique way of reaching many age levels with his music and his message.”

AGAPE*’s touring credits include touring full-time as a musician for the past 12 years, performing for hundreds of thousands of youth across the United States and in eight different countries.  He has recorded six CDs and has recorded with critically-acclaimed producer Ant (Atmosphere, Brother Ali) as well as Chris Brown’s producer, Ra Charm.  He has shared the stage with the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Toby Mac, David Crowder, Tony Campolo and Gospel giant Kirk Franklin.  In 2001, he co-founded Joint Urban Ministries in Praise (JUMP), a ministry dedicated to helping urban youth unleash their leadership skills through the arts. 

More recently, he founded a youth-led worship service called All Metro Praise (AMP), which attracts hundreds of youth across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area each month.  In 2009, he received the Tom Hunstad Award for excellence in youth ministry and his contribution to the lives of young people.  His ministry was also recently featured in an ABC-affiliated documentary entitled “Peace of Bread” about food insecurity in America. 

These days, you can find him at Luther Seminary, where he works part-time as the Christian Public Leader coordinator, and he is also a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Davis is a poet who also works at Luther Seminary. 

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is able to host AGAPE* and Davis due to a generous gift from the estate of Clifford Kumm.

The public is invited to join the church in either of the two events this weekend. There is no cost for the event or for the pizza served Saturday evening, but the church requests people let it know they are planning to attend so pizza can be ordered for those in attendance. 

“We hope that either, or both, of these opportunities work for all.  We invite community members and area churches to join us,” said Jahn. “AGAPE* will provide a unique worship experience for all ages.  Please come and join us for something new and energetic for the new year…we hope many can come!”

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is located on South Broadway Avenue in Spring Valley.  For more information, call 507-346-7251 or log onto www.hiphopoutreach.com