Listening for God, Interfaith Prayer, Cleaning Up, Connections, and BCS

I’m sitting here with the laptop tonight, as a fire slowly dies in the hearth across the room, catching up on Rachel Maddow, finishing off a glass of red, and still feeling the glow of a big moon, hanging low in the sky that was simply gorgeous.

With that, a few synapse clippings for you, on this mid-January night….

The cleaning project that I blogged about the other night continues unabated. Friday, I framed about ten pieces of art, and hung them on the walls….moving around other pieces. So far, we’ve made major changes to the study, the dining room, and our bedroom. Interestingly, Maria has also taken an interest in cleaning up her room too.

Right at this moment, our house is probably as straight and clean as it’s been in the seven-plus years that we’ve lived here.

Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith
Mondays at Northaven UMC, 6:30

This is a class that I’ll be teaching this winter, which takes short stories and chapters from famous authors, and “listens” for the ways we may, or may not, hear God working in them. The goal is not to lay theological thoughts on top of a text, or reinterpret them in some doctrinal way, but instead to hear the ways that issues of spirit can intersect and be present.

Authors in this session will include: Flannery O’Connor, Frederick Buechner, Annie Dillard, Richard Rodriguez, Raymond Carver, Alice Walker, and others.

We had our first session Monday night, and I was so pleased to have 27 persons show up! If you’d like to join us, contact me, or simply feel free to come by this coming Monday.

We were honored to host an interfaith prayer service at Northaven this past Tuesday afternoon. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, American Indians, and many others came together to offer prayers for the situation in Gaza and Israel. Robin Hackett offered her great version of “Imagine.” I got the chance to pray, and to play my song “Ishmael and Isaac.”

It was a marvelous afternoon of prayer, and Mike Ghouse has posted some pictures here. It’s a great honor to be able to hosts these kinds of events. Last Tuesday also just happened to be “Epiphany,” a day in our tradition where people of differing faiths gathered together, followed a star, and shared their gifts. A very fitting night.

Speaking of my song, the video has been getting some nice hits, and several requests for a downloadable version. So, I’ve uploaded a couple of hi res versions, and updated the blog entry. Feel free to check it out, and to download it if you’d like to share it with others.

You all know that I am a huge Longhorn fan. And most of you know that Texas was one of the main school that got screwed by this year’s BCS process. So, I am all for making things right. But, this is ridiculous.

Wait…isn’t Joe Barton, a conservative Republican, who believes in keeping government out of our lives?

Whatever.

I’m for a playoff. But this isn’t gonna really help anything, is it?

Our Connections Band founding members met last Thursday, and we’re meeting again this Thursday. We should be able to announce a whole new raft of shows perhaps as early as Friday. We also hear that they’ll be a major story about the band, running in the UMR soon. we’ll keep you posted on that too.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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