Monday, September 13, 2010

When the Saints Come Marching In

I am starting to get the ball rolling. 24 hours a week at Faith Pres across the Westbank and 10 hours a week at First Pres here in town.  As far as Sundays go, I will rotate off each week and teach children's Sunday school at both churches. .I have spent most of this past week at Faith. Thy are a little church made up of about 46 members and I have received an extremely warm friendly welcoming from them. Yesterday I taught the children's school which was made up of three adorable girls and attended my first of many Session Meetings. I love working with children so I am glad to have this opportunity. I also have and will be working with the church secretary at Faith writing up the bulletin and managing the website. I am excited to tackle more projects. This week I will be going to First Pres to help out with Project Hope, the homeless ministry. Monday and Tuesday I will help organize all the items and help prepare lunches . Then Wednesday morning the people actually come to First where they are provided with clothing, food, bus tokens, etc. About 9 other churches participate in this program and I am excited to be a part of this ministry.

This past Thursday was the first Saints game of the season which served as the NFL kickoff. Wow. It is like nothing I have ever witnessed before. The whole city shuts down for the day. Kids get out of school early, meetings scheduled churches are canceled. Everywhere you go whether to a restaurant or Wal-Mart or the Post Office people were all decked out in Saints attire. I went to the parade in the French Quarter and it was crazy fun!! Dave Matthews Band and Taylor Swift performed live and I got to watch them on the big screen monitor. So glad the Saints won the game! WHO DAT.

Did several cathartic things for the soul this week. Am trying to continually run in City Park early some mornings. (Absolutely Beautiful) On Friday night, some of us went to see a brass band, The Soul Rebels. It was awesome! Love live music. Yesterday I spent the entire day scraping paint of a house that Project Homecoming is fixing up to sell. Hard labor felt good and I hope it will be something I can continue.

Got a Public Library card!! Am currently reading two books: Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution and Barbara J. King's Evolving God. I love Shane's take on Christianity, which is that it should not be contained and suffocated within a church's walls but should be something we seek on the streets and in the lives of other ordinary people. King's book takes a look at the origins of religion, which is a topic that has begun to fascinate me lately. How does religion, God, spirituality tie into the way we have evolved? What has cauesed us to turn to the sacred and supernatural as groups of human beings?

One last important thought. My roommates and I have been watching Spike Lee's 4 part documentary: When The Levees Broke.  I would highly recommend this emotional, heart-breaking, and eye opening film about Katrina and the aftermath to everyone. It is extremely painful to watch but I think it is something that we as Americans need to see. The slow disorganized response of our government shocks and disturbs me. People left out on the highways for days without the most basic of needs while government officials got lost in petty political disagreements.The President flew over the city in his spacious, comfortable airplane and said he saw the damage and knew the pain of the people. Did he put his feet on the ground and walk the streets full of bleeding, dying people with nowhere to go? Did he smell the horrible stench of dead bodies a or peel off rooftops to find people drowning, suffocating in their attics? No. These people went days with nothing. I struggle with seeing and hearing these people's stories on the screen and know that they are not unique. What makes it twice is hard is  walking outside my house and living in the midst of it years later. I know that me being here counts for something. Maybe my presence can help us not forget New Orleans, although the news and media may have died down.  I hope that I can go forth from this place and help show America the truth about this disaster. 

"Great opportunities to help seldom come, but small ones surround us every day."
-Sally Koch

1 comment:

  1. Katie...i absolutely love Shane's Irresistible Revolution. A book that, quite literally, changed my life. I think I mentioned in small group--I went to visit them 3 years ago...crazy cool experience. What they're doing is incredible...but also incredibly simple. So simple we're scared to try it. :)