Pastor Bledsoe has self-published his first novel on iBooks for the iPad.
Entitled, Rooster’s Table: A Multi-Cultural Apocalypse, the novel is set in small town Virginia near Washington DC and grapples with our diverse and divided culture. The Book Club is sponsoring a reading of excerpts from the novel on Sunday, September 22nd after worship. The entire community is invited. A sample of the book and the book itself can be found on iTunes/iBooks.
The opportunity to explore in depth, through the life of characters, subplots, plots and themes is what compelled Bledsoe to write the novel. Having written sermons for decades, he welcomed the chance to get at some of these existential themes sideways, subtly and literarily–avenues not generally available to the homiletician. In Rooster’s Table , Robert Sherman Walker has navigated his way out of grief for the death of his grandmother, Kate Rock Walker, and along the way, he is guided by an unlikely cast of characters that includes not only a beginning professor of philosophy, but whittlers who sit on a corner of a dying, small world, Pentecostals who helped bury his mother and a Sikh neighbor dedicated to peace. Andrew, a victim of familial violence, orbits the plot like a moon until that fateful day, when the depraved and the heroic face each other. That unveiling is twined around characters like the African-American professor of philosophy, Jasmyn Parker, who happens into Robert’s life and provides a counter point to Hank Williams and Johannes Brahms with Thelonius Monk and Billie Holiday. They in turn are threaded into dualities of North/South, male/female, gay/straight, locals/immigrants, mentally challenged/right minded, and Black/White. Their life world is chimed in religious tones from Baptist to Methodist, Episcopalian and Pentecostal with a strong note of Sikhism. Then at an apocalyptic moment, the multicultural experiment of 1980s America erupts one ordinary Thursday at a restaurant called Rooster’s.
Join us on October 27 after worship (11:15 a.m.) as the Book Club discusses his novel (in the Jerry Davis Library).
Bible Study is every Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Foster Room. For over one year now, we have been guided by the lectionary. September will provide us a break from that routine and we will spend the month studying the topic, Sabbath.
There are several crucial themes and concepts in the scriptures but not too many more important than the Sabbath. Join us this Sunday and begin the Autumn by embracing fellow students of the scriptures and be engaged in both bible study and Christian fellowship. Your “homework” this week in preparation is to find the first reference to Sabbath in the bible. Then Sunday we will take some time to speak to this topic. See you in class!
The choir will not be rehearsing again until Monday, September 9. This fall, we will be rehearsing on Mondays instead of Wednesdays. Rehearsal will begin each night at 7pm and will be held in the sanctuary. After a couple of weeks off, we intend to hit the ground running and start working on Christmas music that should be arriving any day now. Please see Lauren or Kevin if you have any question… and please, join us! September rehearsal dates: 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30
Saturday August 31st, 1pm, some of us are gathering to brainstorm about: *deepening friendship and fellowship *creating gathering opportunities and *reaching out to young adults in our community. Led by Bukola, joined by the pastor, we’ll enjoy eating together and coming up with some ways we can grow our church and ministry. Please join us if you’re ready to think outside the box and lend your energy to these projects.
Our worship service on Sunday, August 25th, celebrated with the thousands who came to Washington DC to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. And what a great service we had! Terryn began us with an introit, Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Freedom, and she was later joined by her nephew, Hasaan, as he recited a portion of Dr. King’s I’ve Been to the Moutaintop sermon. At the offertory we had the joy of watching Jack and Freda’s grandchildren–Dike, Arianna, Amara and Ikenna–recite portions of I Have A Dream followed by their grandfather, Jack, singing one of King’s favorite songs, Precious Lord.
Much could be said about our worship today but none so eloquent as our Music Coordinator, Kevin Twine’s, thoughts which he posted to his Facebook page. I share his thoughts with you as they sum up not only our day but the spirit and passion of our church:
“I’m so glad that I found Riverside Baptist Church. After years of letting other people decide that I was an abomination and not fit to know my Creator, I found a loving, inclusive, multi-racial home.”
Amen . Great day!