Coming Undone for Jesus

We are back from our first ever all-ages mission trip to New Orleans led by Chloe Clark-Soles. I feel the need for a religious expletive here, like an Amen or Hallelujah! There were a lot of variables that could have not gone well as our group travelled to a new city with two pregnant women and one two year old in high summer. But the work at All Souls Episcopal Church/Community Center was provocative and engaging, the children beautiful, the story of Katrina and the flood heartbreaking, and the resilience of the people we met inspiring. And we all kept our health and our wits about us for the most part. Oh yeah, and the food was really good. And the live music was really really good.

The highlight of the trip for me was Friday afternoon when we participated in a mini gospel concert led by a group of New Orleans musicians who teach music to children over the summer. They brought kiddos from another community center to mingle with our All Souls kiddos and led them in selections both groups had previously prepared. Picture sixty kiddos from poor neighborhoods — who have probably seen a lot of hard stuff and been relocated two or three times because of Katrina — singing their guts out. Singing their souls out. Singing their story. And singing an old favorite, “If anybody asks you who I am, tell them I am a child of God.” I felt like I had been properly churched!
Thank you also to the broader Church in the Cliff community who supported us with financial donations and prayers. We were all overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and felt so blessed for the support which enabled us to travel and buy necessary supplies for the camp and our work day and still leave a significant contribution in the All Souls collection plate.
I invite everyone to join us tonight for pizza and our first pass at telling the story. 6:30 Casa Semrad. 108 S. Rosemont. Bring $5, drinks, dessert and/or salad to share. 214. 233 4605 with any questions. Joy to you this beautiful summer day,
PS This week we are easing back into our summer series ‘Filling the Church-Shaped Hole’ with Methodist/Mainline Sunday. Wes and Mikal will be sharing testimonies so please join us. Wondering what aMainline Christianis? Click on Wikipedia link here. 

Thank you to Chloe, Ross, Mikal, Paul, Aleah, Iris, Rebel, Kristin, Cara, and Perl for your open hearts and active engagement. I think we are all still digesting and integrating what we experienced. Many of us came home from New Orleans both energized and feeling kind of ‘undone’ — a common side effect of a trip outside of one’s comfort zone. It takes a while to put the pieces back together. And they never quite go back in the same way, which is a gift of the encounter.

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