Category Archives: faith

SxSW and church stuff

I’m volunteering at my church this year again for SxSW. I’ll admit I’m not overly familiar with many of the bands playing there. Since Leah and I are (planning on) volunteering Friday night, I’m listening to My Brightest Diamond and Clare & the Reasons and I really like (most of) what I hear.

Next weekend during the Film festival, I’ll be helping with the youth group’s lock-in. Last night I was trying to remember where my sleeping bag was and recalled that I gave it away when Austin was collecting supplies for Katrina evacuees. That shows you how often I use a sleeping bag! I’m honestly not the camping sort. . . well, unless it’s camping in a cabin.

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Footprints

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IMG_0828, originally uploaded by evso.

I need another weekend already. I’ve been to two memorial services in three weeks. Yesterday’s service was very sweet and moving. One of the choir members sang one of my favorite pieces. While his performance wasn’t flawless, I do think the song was a great fit for the man remembered.

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odds and ends

Sunday afternoon at church, I walked into the Sr. High classroom to start preparing for youth. One of the kids was in there with the youth choir director, listening to a slow, ponderous song on the stereo. I saw the kid had a sheet music with “Ave Maria” as the title, and I asked, “Is this Rufus Wainwright?”

The youth choir director (who is a few years younger than me) put on a somewhat surprised expression as he answered, “Yes!”

Do I not look like I know my random indie singers? I knew of Rufus Wainwright back when from Ken Burns’ “Civil War” soundtrack; he sang with his mom and aunt on a not-so-great version of “Better Times are Coming.” It was a pre-teen Rufus, scratchy mid-voice-change voice and all. I think I still have that on cassette tape, somewhere. My favorite songs on that album were: “Follow the Drinking Gourd” sung by Richie Havens, “No More Auction Block” sung by Sweet Honey on the Rock, and Kathy Mattea’s version of “Vacant Chair”. Hey, the CD is for sale on Amazon! I swear the soundtrack is worth owning just for the main theme of the series, “Ashokan Farewell.” What a haunting and lyrical instrumental piece.

In other news, I am probably not sleeping much tonight before I fly out tomorrow. My nerves are rattling; I’ll be glad when I’m in England already. I am so not looking forward to dealing with the airports.

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That would be Season for Caring

I referred to the Statesman’s holiday campaign as Season of Giving, but it’s actually Season for Caring. The family from my church is the one whose last name begins with M*. If you click on the above link, you can see the video they filmed during church. I’m glad to say that I’m not in it. My mom makes an appearance, however.

I hadn’t mentioned on here, but the day before Thanksgiving, C. (the mom) asked me to take her to the grocery store. It was a madhouse, but amazingly, HEB had enough cashiers so that we made it through the line very quickly. I think that’s the first time I’ve gone to the grocery store the night before Thanksgiving; when we were little, my great-uncle used to take Leah and I to the grocery store to buy a treat (and any extra supplies) on Thanksgiving. There was never a crowd then.

Anyway, the family is worthy of any help that comes their way. The church is still working to get her husband brought over from Africa. It was looking promising for a bit; Doggett’s office was working on it. But I haven’t heard anything about it in a couple weeks, so I’m just not sure what that means.

*For privacy reasons, I’m not spelling out their names. Another note – they were nominated by Catholic Charities, but attend my church (which is Presbyterian).

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Restful Thanksgiving weekend

After the other crazy-busy weekends I have had this month, I was so happy not to have much planned for the long weekend. I finally watched the DVD of Talk to Me that I’d had out from Netflix for half a month. Saturday was yucky weather-wise, so I spent the whole day at home. It was wonderful.

The only plans I had were for Thanksgiving day and yesterday: to eat with family and friends on Thursday, and go to church and take the youth to ARCH yesterday. And so I did.

I hadn’t volunteered at ARCH (Austin Resource Center for the Homeless) before. We walked over from the church around 5:45 and were back at church by 7:50pm. We served a fish and chips meal, with veggies on the side. I was afraid that there were too many of us (this after I had been worried there wouldn’t be enough of us), but there was something for everyone to do. I served the chips, some of which we had helped prepare. This was one of the best volunteer/mission jobs I’ve done; the kids loved it, it was so easy, and we got to see up close the people we were helping.

So we’ll probably be doing that again in the Spring.

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Distracting

At church on Sunday, someone was filming the refugee family from our church – I believe it was for the upcoming Season of Giving article. Anyway, I felt awkward in church, wondering if I was on camera.

I don’t know how the people who attend the ginormous churches like Promiseland and Riverbend do it. A church service can be a really private time for me, as well as a time of fellowship with others. Having someone taping the service was too distracting for me.

BUT – the church is a big part of the family’s journey. If I’m remembering correctly, the Presbyterian church in Zimbabwe helped the mother get to the USA (the family is originally from Congo).

I also am sure that only a few minutes of the service will be included in the final video . . . I’ll just hope that I’m not in any of that. Or at least if I am, that I look more natural than I felt.

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Documentary night!

C and I have planned to see For the Bible Tells Me So tonight; it’s showing for a limited time at the Dobie. My pastor sent out a church-wide email last Friday encouraging us all to see it, otherwise I don’t know that I would have heard about the film while it was still in theatres.

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