An organization of Cultural Arts and Development.
"A time to Dance...A Time to Speak"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bravo to the Artistic Son

Alfred Gallman was called an "artistic son" by Alvin Ailey. He is truly one of jewels in the crown of the city of Newark and the liturgical dance world. A brilliant teacher and choreographer, he formed Gallman's Newark Dance Theatre over 30 years ago.

I have viewed his students in concert, and have seen his church ministry dancers from Kelly Temple dance with a powerful anointing. I have also been blessed to have a few classes with Mr. Gallman and the best part of the class for me is not the technique, but the rich wealth of wisdom in creativity and his understanding of how to go beyond the steps to true worship of the Lord.

Today I witnessed his "Sound the Alarm" Liturgical fundraising Concert. What a blessing! His passion for the children he works with and the importance of sowing into their future is evident in all he does.

I look forward to the great things God will do through this man in the future. I am grateful for those who have taught me technique and or sown into my life with spiritual wisdom: Matt Mattox, Carolyn Clark, Marie Paquet, Iris Cloud, Barbara Duffy, Julia Boynton, Swazette Whitten, Patricia Smargiassi, Sharron Miller, Rev. Eyesha Marable, the list goes on...

And for those moments sitting at the feet of Bro. Alfred and gaining some wisdom...priceless!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Seasons of Purpose in Class

I met Martin 8 years ago when Seasons of Purpose was at its infancy. At the time Martin was enrolled at Alliance Theological Seminary, but he never completed. Martin never gave up on the dream to get that Theological degree (MPS or M.Div) in New York City. Today he begins a new program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Urban Ministry program. O.K. I know you are saying...but isn't that in the Boston area? But of course. However, they just started a new site in New York City at my home church: Primitive Christian Church. The price is so reduced that it would be crazy for him (and not to mention you) to take advantage of this theological training. Classes began tonight with 2 courses and a chapel service in between.

As for me...I'm trying to keep in step with the Lord. I hope to enroll in the National Liturgical Dance Network On-Line Course. I look forward to what God will teach me from this class and how He will use Rev. Eyesha Marable and others to confirm what God has already taught me. This is the year for more boldness so I am sharpening my tools, exacting my aim, strengthening my resolve. We have big plans and are believing for God to provide for our needs, pay for our classes, and provide for greater ministry opportunities for Seasons of Purpose in the future.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ecclesiates 4:9-12 The Message Bible
It's better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there's no one to help, tough!

11 Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.

12 By yourself you're unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.

I thank God for the chord of three strands that I am a part of. It is Martin, Angie, and God. This 3 fold strand is not easily, or quickly broken through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is this 3 fold chord that is the basis of Seasons of Purpose. This chord is challenged, tugged, stretched, feeling frayed to the point of snapping, but thank God for the 3rd strand! The bus I was in on Sunday showed the movie "Not Easily Broken." A sobering and important look at a marriage. It is wonderful to be married, but yes, is work. So I'm holding on to the 3rd strand the best I can and thanking God to share the ministry of Seasons of Purpose with my husband.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Evening Musing

In the news we hear about famous people saying things they wish they hadn't (or others wish they hadn't). Some saying things they claim is just misconstrued. Politicians saying things they later regret. Imagine if we really understood that all we say is heard by someone (doesn't God hear all), would we say half the things we do?

Let's take time to watch our words. Let's take time to listen to what is really being said.

Afternoon Musing

Sitting under a file of papers for my Mom dealing with her money matters. And what does that have to do with ministry? I find the more I can apply biblical principles to every day life the better I am in serving the Lord and others. A "big step" that Seasons of Purpose needs to do on a daily basis is to say no to procrastination and deal with the paperwork even if it is the LAST thing in my emotional priority list but is probably the top of the reality priority list. Every time I help Mom I think about why am I not also doing this for myself. And why am I not building Seasons of Purpose as a ministry and completing our dream of making it a foundation. Someone recently asked me how the foundation was doing and I had to ask them what they were talking about...that's not good. Yes someday we want to be able to give to all the wonderful ministries that you represent. SOP wants to pray with you, walk with you, encourage you, brainstorm with you, and help financially however we can. If we don't get disciplined in our own personal paperwork, how will we be ready to deal with the grants and various forms we will need to continue SOP on the scale that I know God wants this to be. How will we grow the money to bless you. Well, well, well...can we get a hearty AMEN?

Morning Musing

I'm curious to know what the blog looks like if you post throughout the day so I'm going to try this. It occurred to me last night as I was preparing for bed that some people who read this blog may get my various activities confused because I just talk about my activities and don't differentiate.

I have various postings that involve our activities at our local church called Primitive Christian Church, Rev. Dr. Marcos Rivera is the Senior Pastor. Pastor Enid Rios-Rivera is the Executive Pastor and heads the Women's Ministry also known as the Sisterhood of PCC. As the Minister of Worshipping Arts at the church I often speak of activities that we (my husband & I) are involved in whether it is the Dance Ministry (Worship Warriors--Karen Hunter my assistant [Martin doesn't participate in this unless it is all men called the PCC Levites or he sometimes helps me with the boys when they dance to show them "guy steps"] or the Drama Ministry (Martin has acted and written a number of the scripts). Then this summer we did the Dance, Pageantry, and Drama intensives.

Then there is Seasons of Purpose which is the ministry that God birthed in my heart in August 2000. Dance for Joy (Founder and Director, Iris Cloud) had just finished 2 concerts--the school concert and the company concert. Can we say exhausted? But out of that came a wonderful review from the New York Times. When I read the review and saw my name and my friends names I just cried. Did I really need the NYT to validate me??? No. But I finally got through my thick skull that God had given me something and I had better start giving it away before I forgot or couldn't move anymore. I hid away with God at the Jersey shore in Ocean Grove NJ, He gave me a name and a ministry to birth called Seasons of Purpose. I am blessed that God gave me a husband that helps to fulfill this mission and has given shape to the ministry.

When we go out to different churches and events we function as Seasons of Purpose. Sometimes I invite members of PCC, former students from Nyack College, former DFJ members, and etc. It is exciting to see the body of Christ come together for a common goal to glorify the Lord! The life lessons I have learned at PCC I bring to Seasons of Purpose. Many of the lectures and lesson plans that I have used for my teaching artist gigs, Nyack College, and SOP workshops have come in handy at PCC.

I had no idea when Seasons of Purpose began that a husband would be involved. But one day when I was sitting in my office which I shared with Liz Rios and Betsy Rivera (about a year later I joined their church), I met this man (about a year 1/2 later I married him). This was October 2001 and we were all recuperating emotionally from September 11th. I thought Martin was some rich guy who could help DFJ that was shut down since it was so near the World Trade Center (part of the airplane engine literally was seen on the street in front of the building). He wanted to give money to a conference that the Advancement Office was running. So Martin had to come to my office. Betsy was out but he desperately wanted to pay. I said "I'll take your money"...and he was intrigued by that and started talking. We've been talking ever since...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Women God Has Used in My Life

The 2 009 PCC Women's Retreat is over but we had a good time. I thank God for the women who have played a big role in helping me see the importance of having the Holy Spirit order my steps in His Word. Many thanks to Pastor Enid Rios-Rivera who encourages us in our steps and even demonstrated how to do that walk throughout the weekend. I just had to join her in that step and so did many others that night in the spirit and with their bodies.

And many thanks to Dr. Liz Rios...a fabulous speaker who encouraged us in so many ways. I know that Seasons of Purpose needs to take some new steps so the ministry can grow, but God used Dr. Liz to inform me that the first step will be a big step. I will have to go to war in this walk in the Spirit. And my next step will be a crucial one. I thank God for her bringing a word to us that was not an easy word to digest but a needed word for such a time as this. I thank God that He used Dr. Liz. I know her personally and have worked under her at 2 different jobs in NY, so I know that the message she brings is sincere. In other words, she is not one way before the people and then another way behind closed doors. She keeps it real, and endeavors to apply the word when it is easy and when it is really, really hard.

I know that if I want to grow deeper in my understanding of this walk, the Holy Spirit and the ministry of Seasons of Purpose, I must get deeper in His Word. It's time to take the Big Steps!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Who is your Aaron?

I thank God for the dear assistant God has blessed me with in the dance ministry. She is like what Aaron was for Moses. She truly helps to lift up my arms and hands when I am weak and has more energy for ideas that I could ever possibly generate on my own. She has been a blessing. Watch her at work as we endeavor to polish the piece for the Women's Retreat 2009.

What a wonderful time we had in rehearsal today!!!! The battery powered candles were on all over the room and God's presence was so evident to us. We basked in the Presence of the Living God as we listened to the music we were to dance to. It was like hearing the song for the first time when we weren't concerned about executing choreography but about what the song means and to give the song back to God in a sense in worship, adoration, and thanksgiving. When we ended the rehearsal in prayer again I thought the roof would come off!!! And who was the Aaron. Heard her all the way down the hall. And others that I could call my Joshua and Caleb's but I'll discuss them at another time. Glory to God!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Under His Shadow

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings. Psalm 17:8 (KJV)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand. Psalm 91:1 (Amp)

There are so many challenges in this life, but if I can just take a moment to hide in that shadow of the Lord, I will have courage to go on. Today I thought of my family and all the fun times I have had with them. I also thought of those who I couldn't enjoy the holiday with especially my brother. Although my brother passed almost 4 years ago, I am still really missing him especially over the holidays. But there is the shadow of the Lord. When I go under His wings I have comfort, peace, belonging, and confidence that God can take care of anything, and give me the power to accomplish all that I am purposed to do.