Thursday, November 10, 2011

My church

I still get the Canal Street News e-mail updates from my pastor back in New makes me smile to read about all the things they're doing back at First Grace. I joined the church because I wanted to sing gospel music, but I wasn't really the "churchy" type. At this church, the reading including Rumi, the pastor put on shades during the sermon and sang U2, and the marquee proudly advertised the Vagina Monologues, which was hosted in the fellowship hall. Communion was accompanied by acoustic covers of Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel, and the choir director, who is male, could belt out a high E like nobody's business. It was a place for everyone. Man, I do miss New Orleans.

New Church After Katrina

Canal Street News

I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The astonishing Light
Of your own being!

Hafiz (Sufi poet, 14 c.)

Beautiful People,
Psalm 123 opens with, “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!”

Sometimes that is where we must look, to the heavens, because we have become trapped in our own thoughts, or the manner in which our “friends” or enemies or our community sees us. The directive to look to the heavens is our reminder that God is not holding us in our loneliness, or holding us down. We should look to the Benevolent one to rekindle the light in us. Light begets light and each of us is a spark of divine light created to shine in our world of homes, churches and relationships. So don’t hide it under a bushel or let anyone keep your light diminished or covered, let it shine and help others to let their light shine.

Be good to yourself, let it shine, and see you Sunday, 11:10 AM,
Pastor Shawn


“Occupy Thanksgiving!” Sunday, November 20th, is Friendship Sunday. We will have a special Thanksgiving celebration with the theme of “Occupy Thanksgiving.” We will OCCUPY our Sanctuary with music, prayer and voices of thanksgiving, then OCCUPY our stomachs with Thanksgiving food. We look forward to seeing you and several friends.

GODSPELL—Youth and Tweens attending Godspell, Friday, November 11. Meet at the church at 7 PM. Tickets are $5 (sliding scale as needed). We have a sizable group attending so please contact Anne Daniell if you plan to attend ( )

Children’s Choir. Children’s Choir is a formative time for children ages 4-11. Ms. Joan Brown directs the children’s choir time after the passing of the peace during worship. The choir time is going very well, and I encourage children—yours and a child who needs this formation to participate.

First Grace Adult Sunday School Class is looking for you, 10 AM, Sundays. Please join us for great bible discussions at 10am across from the fellowship hall. Questions, see Marla Montgomery. See you there!!!!!!

Advent Labyrinth Walk: On Tuesday evenings in Advent, Paul Longstreth and Pastor Shawn are organizing a Labyrinth Walk with piano jazz music. Would you like to be involved in the creative and spiritual framing of this event? Please see Pastor Shawn.

Yoga is here!! Yoga will be held on Tuesdays 6pm-7pm in the Narthex, $10 and sliding scale. All are welcome!

Hagar's House wants your old costumes!

Please recycle or donate any Halloween costume items or materials here at First Grace! We are collecting items now for our annual Mardi Gras Costume Swap that will happen in early February. Hagar's House can use anything that might help make a fun costume-- wigs, glitter, tulle (LOTS of tulle), elastic bands, dresses, funky shoes, hats, masks, and sewing materials. There is a collection box outside the double doors in the back of the sanctuary and another by the church office. Thank you for your help.