Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pentecost & Ordination for Lorrie

Pentecost is the birthday of the Christian Church, but today Pentecost was also ordination day for our most recent student pastor from Eden Seminary, Lorrie Kovell. After the service, most of the members from Compton Heights who were present or who took part posed for a photo with Lorrie.

The ordination service took place at Affton Christian Church, where Lorrie also was a student pastor earlier. The area above the communion table was filled with a mobile of white and red paper doves in recognition of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

After being presented as a candi- date, and making her vows to uphold a covenant of ministry, Lorrie knelt while pastors and elders present lay their hands upon her and the entire congregation joined in a prayer.

Another group picture, after the service ended, included all those who took part in the service. Many Christian congregations and a Reform Jewish congregation were represented.

Traditional gifts presented to Lorrie included a Bible, a communion chalice and plate, an alb, and a light. Darrell and Madeline present the chalice and plate to Lorrie during the service.

Lorrie studies how to adjust her new robe. Finally Jacque came to the rescue!

It was an eventful day, and a spirit-filled service. Our prayers go with Lorrie as she continues in the call to ministry.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gypsy Caravan 2009: Wet, But Not Dampening Our Spirits

Something about Memorial Day in St. Louis--it always rains! This year there were no severe storms and our canopy stayed up, but it was still a challenge to keep our "dry goods" well, dry. Marty has just once again moved a rack of our Gypsy Bags back under the edge of the shelter. It was a challenge to display items attractively because they had to be crowded, but we did our best.

We started with 27 Gypsy Bags created by the collective of Marty, Kathy, Shannon, Marsha, Judi, Leslie, Liz, Jacque, Jan, Madeline....some sewed, some ironed, some cut out fabric, many donated the fabrics as well.

We sold a lot of our items during the brief bouts of sun that graced us in the middle of the day. But by the third rain shower, many shoppers simply left and headed home. By the end of the day, we had 11 Gypsy Bags remaining. These, and the unsold potato baking bags (visible on table at left) will be available on Sunday, May 31 and thereafter. We will also make some special orders for you if you have a certain kind of fabric in mind! (Some of these in the picture were sold after the photo was taken.)

We had wonderful help from a great bunch of dedicated volun- teers who set up, staffed, and broke down our booth. Thanks to Roger, Devin, Brenda and Leslie for setting up on Sunday afternoon. Our great staff on Saturday included Cindy, Brenda & family, Norm, and Judi who opened up at 6:30; Madeline, Roberta, Talya, Cory, Leslie, Marty and Darrell who took shifts from 9 to 5. And gold stars to Marty, Darrell and Leslie for helping Judi and Norm take down, pack up the remainder, and haul everything home at the end of the day. Special thanks to Leslie for use of her new canopy--which survived the day intact!

Our preliminary tally from the day's sale is around $650, less than last year, but amazing given the rainy day. I'll have a better tally in a week or so, depending on "after" sales this upcoming weekend. All of these proceeds will go to reducing the Compton Cares accessibility project indebtedness.

Thanks to everyone who donated an item for us to sell. We weren't able to sell all of them, but there is always Next Year.
Will there be a Next Year? Maybe. We need to refine our focus on items to sell, and work on ways to be more immune to the damp weather. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sent on a Mission

On Sunday, May 10, we said farewell and Godspeed for a month to Jan and Larry, who will spend the next month in Ethiopia. Larry will teach in a school of social work at a university there, and Jan will teach clinical practice. Last year they spent the month of June in Ethiopia and although at first the culture shock was great, they were so impressed with the dedication of the people to build a first-rate Ph.D. program in social work that they signed up to go again this year. We held a brief commissioning ceremony in worship and will pray for their safety and their good work while they are away from us. We look forward to more great pictures and tales of their travel with a purpose.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes, We will be at Gypsy Caravan 2009

Compton Rising Still is starting to get "hits" from around the country from people searching for information about the Gypsy Caravan outdoor flea market sale on Memorial Day in St. Louis. We participated last year and we will be back this year. Same spot, hopefully not the same rain-shattered event. We have lots of good stuff donated by members plus some really neat Gypsy Bags some of our women have been sewing. Plan to see us on the UMSL campus on May 25, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. We will be in space # C-94. All proceeds will benefit our Compton Cares Accessibility and Hospitality Ministry. Y'all come!

Baby Blessing and Baptism

Sunday, May 17, was a day to celebrate the newest additions to our church family. We also welcomed many visitors who came to help them celebrate.

We don't baptize babies, but we do have a ceremony for the parents to promise to raise the child in a Christian home, and for the congregation to promise to provide support for the family. Annabelle Christine reacts to Jacque's questions, to the delight of DebE and Dave. Later we all sang Jesus Loves Me as Jacque walked up and down the aisle with a now quiet baby to introduce her to her church family.

We do baptize older children, youth and adults who confess their faith in Christ. Recently Michelle H, who has visited us with her daughter Madalyn for almost a year, came forward during the invitation. On Sunday she was baptized by the friend who brought her to our church, our student pastor, Lorrie.

As a congregation we remain in awe and gratitude for the many new faces that have joined us on our spiritual journey over the last 18 months or so, including the 4 babies born and the two most recent members, Michelle and Roberta T. During the summer months we are going to revisit our congregational vision through a series of small group gatherings. After the Compton Rising Process several years ago committed us to remain in ministry in the city, we found a new direction. Always in prayer and openness to the Spirit, we have been called, we believe, to become Open and Affirming, and then to extend hospitality further through our disability access project. Recently new members and visitors have brought us families with children, some with special needs. And we have those babies! What direction is our ministry being called to follow today? By early fall we will hold a retreat and seek the answers to this question.

Friday, May 8, 2009

May Brings Flowers, Vision to Compton

For a couple of weeks in April, the iris bloomed along the alley, greeting staff and clients of Isaiah 58 and neighbors who use the alley as a path connecting two streets that are closed at Grand Ave. Last fall on a work day we plied this bed with mulch and it looks like the flowers liked the attention.

May 3 was the last official Sunday for our student pastor, Lorrie, although she is going to be around for some occasions this spring and summer. At the farewell reception we discovered that Lorrie and Christine's son, Coulton, has a special gift for quieting restless babies, as Annabelle fell fast asleep in this 7-year-old's lap.

Upcoming at Compton:
  • Each Friday: Happy Friday from 6:45-8 a.m.
  • Soul Care: Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m.
  • Elders' Circle: Wednesday, May 13, 7 p.m.
  • Blessing for Annabelle and her parents: Sunday, May 17 in worship.
  • Baptism for Michelle H: Sunday, May 17 in worship.
  • Gypsy Caravan fundraiser for Compton Cares: Monday, May 25 at UMSL 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Soul Care: Tuesday, May 26, 7 p.m.
  • Ordination of student pastor Lorrie Kovell: Sunday, May 31, 2 p.m. at Affton CC.