Part One: 

CHICAGO (RNS) — Chicago’s known for great architecture, but the one-story building at the corner of Pratt and Ashland is no landmark. The red brick rectangle used to be a discount store. Inside, there’s a sparse room with a dull navy carpet, and on a recent Monday night, a dozen musicians sit on mismatched chairs.

If not for the 8-foot pine cross stuck on a chunk of plywood at the front of the room, you might not guess this is a church. The band members — kids as young as 5 up to adults in their 50s — are a mix of native Midwesterners, refugees, and immigrants.

They play maracas, ukuleles, guitars, keyboards and a scratched-up drum kit. They work their way through

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