A Celebration of the Life of Bettye Jayne French will be held at St. Alban's on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.
Visitation with the family will be from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon in the church and McLean Hall. The Burial of the Dead: Rite Two with Holy Eucharist will follow at 12:00 noon in the church and the committal will follow at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Calhoun, Louisiana.
Bishop, Confirmation, Communion, and Picnic Potluck in the parish hall tomorrow. We will have early Eucharist at 8:30 a.m. and the Bishop will join us at 10:30 a.m. We will gather following the liturgy for lunch and fellowship. See you there!
This morning I happened on to a showing of
The Green Pastures, being aired on TCM (Turner Classic Movies). What a movie! The film was
produced by Warner Brothers and release in 1936 with an entirely black cast. The movie enacts The Old
Testament Bible stories as imagined by rural black children in Louisiana, as
they are hearing them read by their Sunday School teacher. It was based on based on Marc Connelly's folk-themed Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
The movie begins in a small African
American church, generations ago, in the deep south. As the Sunday School
teacher teaches and reads the Bible stories we are transported (by the children’s
imagination) to Heaven to witness the Creation, the Banishment from the Garden
of Eden, the Flood, and the Exodus. An all-black cast, speaking in the rural
idiom, and set in modern day -1930s - surroundings. In heaven, the angels are a Gospel Choir!
Yes – its
images and characters are very stereotypical and very out-of-place by the
standards of our day (think about how the African American slaves are portrayed
in Gone with the Wind – for an idea). This is an aspect of the movie that any
modern viewer of the film must wrestle with and examine...
Yet, it is the images and power of the
stories (imagined literally), through the eyes of these poor, country children
in the “visual language” or their time and place, that is SO powerful! The
story of how God’s children are created, make poor choices, interact with God,
wind up enslaved and are led to freedom by "Da Lawd" and Moses, as seen in rural southern
imagery, is extremely powerful and prophetically provocative! The images, dialects, and characters are rooted in a particular time and place, but transcend time and place in a way that makes the Bible fresh and alive. In the Noah story – one of the zebras is clearly
a mule with painted stripes! Just as children, who had never seen a zebra, might imagine one.
I have never seen anything like it. It
reminds me so much of Clarence Jordan’s, Cotton Patch Gospel, which tells the
Good News of Jesus as set in the rural south in the midst of the civil rights
movement! Jordan’s books use the phrase, “the Jesus movement,” which is a favorite
of the Episcopal Church’s new Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry.
Check it out and let me know what you think. You will find yourself (I
imagine), shocked, embarrassed, provoked to thought and wonder, deeply moved and
inspired! It is like “reading” the Bible again – as if for the first time. Let the Fish Fry proceed!
We know that it is Summertime and the living is easy...so take note,
On Sunday, June 19, The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, The Rt. Rev’d Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D., D.D., IV
Bishop of Western Louisiana, will join us for his annual visit and Confirmation at our 10:30 a.m. liturgy. Put it on your calendar now and make
plans to join us. A Potluck Picnic follows in McLean Hall! Bring a friend and something to share.It will be a great way to start living easy!
The Rt. Rev’d Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D., D.D., IV Bishop of Western
Louisiana will join us for his annual visit on Sunday, June 19, The Fifth
Sunday after Pentecost! Put it on your calendar now and make plans to join us.