June / July
Subscriptions available at www.gatheringmagazine.com
Sports & Life
Wimprine a Winner in Life
A Spiritual Diary
How I Got the Job and a Place to Live, Pt. 1
Engulfed in Fire
Life Stories: Answering the Call
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r o it d E / r e sh li b u P r u o Y Fr om
A NOTE FROM YOUR PUBLISHER… We are really excited here at Gathering Magazine. More and more people are becoming aware of our mission, and they are very enthusiastic about it. There is definitely a need in our community for what we do. I wake up feeling grateful every morning, because we get to do things that help others through our magazine. This month I heard from two of the nonprofits that we represent, they told me how they were pleased about how the connections made through Gathering helped them in some way. That’s what it’s all about, and we are thrilled that it is working. I am also happy to report that a part of our original vision is coming to pass. It wasn’t my intention to write every single Nonprofit Spotlight article. This is a magazine about community, so our vision is to have people in the community write articles about what they are passionate about. In this issue, we spotlight a nonprofit called Sweet Sleep. They provided the article and some beautiful and heartwarming pictures of what they have done in Haiti. Our Local U business spotlight was also written by local photographer Cyndi McMurray, who found a restaurant she loved. She wanted to share their story, because how they kept their faith and started over after they lost everything due to Hurricane Katrina inspired her. I did write the spotlight on the Akula Foundation myself, because I believe that this is a nonprofit that can help a lot of people. It is also a great place to volunteer. Because we are new, we will be making some adjustments from time to time that will make our magazine and website more interesting, fun, and helpful. Last month we added Local U, which spotlights local businesses so that we can support our local community by supporting our entrepreneurs. In May we started a daily blog on our website called Healthy U. I made the commitment to eat healthy every day in the Month of May. I posted recipes that are creative and, just as important, cheap. If you go to our website at www.gatheringmagazine.com, you can see those recipes. I also blogged about temptations and how we can handle eating out – we can eat out, even in New Orleans, and find healthy options. Well, most of the time, anyway. Be sure to check it out, and while you’re at it, please go to our events calendar and nonprofit database for volunteer opportunities and other community activities. Last, but not least, in some of our issues, we invite people in the community to contribute an article, which we call “In their Own Words.” This month’s article was written by Harold Crow, a person who has experienced homelessness off and on over the years. As we have been serving the homeless population in various places around New Orleans, we have gotten to know and love him. Harold is one of the best singers and guitar players I’ve ever heard, and he is also a writer. This month we have been blessed, because he has shared some of his story with us. We love what we do, and we thank everyone who has contributed their time, talent, subscriptions and ads to help us to do even more in our community. Your continued support is welcomed, much loved, and appreciated. Your faithful servant, Dallas McGlinn Publisher/Editor
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2 Sports & Life 4 A Spiritual Diary 6 Crescent City Rock Church 8 Akula Foundation 10 Engulfed in Fire 12 Making Pennies Count 13 Bill Glass Day of Champions 14 Sweet Sleep 16 Can I Have a Shot of Rejection, Please? 17 Margaret Haughery 18 Points to Ponder 20 Starting Over Wimprine a Winner in Life
How I Got the Job and a Place to Live, Pt. 1
Joyful Service: Serving at the N.O. Mission
Life Stories: Answering the Call
Frugal U: Being Frugal Every Day
Joyful Service: Hunt & St. Gabriel Correctional Facilities
Historical Heroes: “The Bread Women of N.O.”
Words of Faith: Is This Event Christian?
Local U: Osyka Seafood Restaurant & Market
Scripture quotations marked “NKJV™” are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. NOTE: Articles written in Gathering are submitted by people who are writing about their passions and interests. Therefore, we have made the decision to print those articles unedited and as originally written so that they do not distort the vision of the writers. If you have any comments about any of the articles, we welcome them. If you would like to submit an article about something that you are passionate about, please contact us at dallas@ gatheringmagazine.com. We welcome your feedback.
Cover Photo by Bonnie Gibbs
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Sports & Life Wimprine a Winner in Life
by Ken Trahan
Spending the preponderance of my life in professional sports, I have marveled at how different people react in different ways to winning and losing. When people win, it is easy for them to display a courteous, engaging, personable attitude. Even then, there are sore winners, those who choose to belittle the vanquished, rather than to walk humbly.
Personal Growth his games in 16 years of coaching at Rummel, including reaching a state title game. Bairnsfather coached Shaw to three consecutive state championship games this past decade. All lose sparingly. When they lose, they always give credit to the winning team, first and foremost. In the heat of competition, many of us lose patience and can lose our cool. In the moment, we have the capability of saying things we will live to regret. It is best to take a deep breath, compose ourselves and then face others.
When people lose, it is far more difficult to see the positive side of those who fall short.
I have been part of the New Orleans VooDoo this season, doing play-by-play for their radio and television broadcasts.
I have stated many times that you find out more about people when they lose than when they win.
It has been a rough season, in terms of wins and losses.
In the midst of adversity, character is
I have interviewed coaches who spewed sour grapes from their mouths upon losing, blaming officials, their own players and the weather for losing. They simply do not accept any responsibility for coming up short.
Danny Wimprine opened the season as the team›s starting quarterback. Wimprine, a John Curtis graduate and former University of Memphis star, had grand visions. He was the team›s quarterback in 2008 and played very well. Most expected that he would do so again. By his own admission, he has not played to the level he strove for or that the team hoped for.
At the same time, they give no credit to the opposition, a glaring omission which reflects a lack of class.
Obviously, the losing is certainly not all his fault, not even close.
That group of people will remain nameless here.
Wimprine endured the losing. He endured being benched-not once but twice in favor of two different new starting quarterbacks.
Then, there are those who are gracious in defeat. Despite the bitter taste of losing, seeing and hearing one who takes responsibility and gives credit where credit is due is admirable. Archie Manning was one of those persons. When I first started in the business, Archie was part of some awful New Orleans Saints teams. As the quarterback, he regularly had to answer tough questions about the Saints and their failures. He did so with total class, never casting aspersions at teammates or opponents. On the prep level, J.T. Curtis of John Curtis Christian High School, Jay Roth of Archbishop Rummel and Scott Bairnsfather of Archbishop Shaw are a trio of football coaches who exhibit class. All are accustomed to winning and winning regularly. Curtis has won an unprecedented 23 state titles while Roth has won 78 percent of
If you know Danny, you now he burns to play, compete and win. Losing his starting job has been difficult to endure. How has Wimprine handled it? He still leads the team in exercises, speaks to the team in team huddles and is a vocal leader. Regardless of how the team fares, Wimprine is a winner. That is galvanized by his trust in Jesus
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Christ as his Lord and Savior. Through it all, Wimprine has refrained from criticizing coaches or his teammates for contributing to the losing and his fate in being benched. Scripture states that the tongue is untamable. If we speak our emotions, we will be sorry. James 3:5-10 is clear on this topic. «The tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature: and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.»
is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.» We must give our all in competition and in to live eternally. At the end of sporting contests, we must adhere to 2nd Timothy 4:7 and its lesson. «I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.» In the world of sports, we must be good stewards of our faith, displaying good sportsmanship in victory and defeat. 1st Peter 2:17 says, «Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King.» Christian values compel us to be good sports, honoring the Lord with good behavior.
One of the most popular sayings is that «winning is everything.»
We must behave Biblically whether we win or lose the game. Manning, Roth and Bairnsfather are great examples of how to win with humility and lose with grace.
I agree. Winning eternity is everything. There is no substitute. To be a winner, we must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, choosing to serve Him daily, without reservation, understanding that we will not win every battle but that we must press on toward the goal to win the war to achieve permanent peace.
Regardless of how the team ends up record-wise or whether he gets to play again, Wimprine is a winner--a winner in life, inching closer to the day when he can hear the words of Jesus as he spoke to the two who were given five and two talents, respectively and invested the talents, gaining favor with Christ.
When we compete, we must strive for the crown, giving our very best, leaving nothing in the «tank.»
«Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.»
1st Corinthians 9:24-27 says, «Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize
Oh, to hear those words!
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y r a i D t. 1 l P a , u e t v i i r L A Spi ace to
e Got th
nd a a b o J
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
For the past few months I have resided at the New Orleans Mission, a temporary shelter for the homeless. Though to the world it may appear I was homeless, the fact is that the Lord is my Rock and Fortress, my safe haven from the storms of life. It was by Christ’s guidance that I came to stay at the mission. It is through Christ that I am no longer a guest there. How this came to be is what this testimony is about. The stay at the Mission was a time of preparation for what I have been called to do in the purpose of God. Though I know that I am not where I should be, still being a work in progress, I believe this to have been an act by Christ that would strengthen a weakness I had to address before the next step could be taken. Though the Mission had a work search program that I could have taken advantage of to get more free nights, I decided to return to a temporary agency to hopefully build a little money that would be
sufficient to pay the nightly fee of $5. After spending a day filling out the required paper work, I returned the next day to wait for placement. I didn’t rely on luck, I prayed to the Lord, and five minutes later my name was called. Most jobs from this agency are one to three days, but the Lord provided me work on levee construction that paid top dollar and would last a week or more. The money I made went towards the nightly shelter fee, food, transportation, and clothing that I couldn’t get through donations (socks, underwear).
[The next temp] job paid minimum wage, so it wasn’t a lot of money at first. More than 2/3 of my take home pay went to meals, transportation and the nightly bed fee. But as Mardi Gras day neared, we began working overtime. This was a double blessing because not only was I making a lot more money, I was also too tired to spend it. I have never been very good with money, which is an understatement. I always looked at money as a necessity, but I treated it as a luxury. I spent faster than I earned it. I write this because, surprisingly to me, Christ took this opportunity to teach me to value a dollar. The day after Mardi Gras, I opened my first bank account in years. Still having almost another whole month of work guaranteed, I began depositing my daily checks. Though living expenses were still high, the amount grew steadily each week. This is because, for the first time in my life, I consider every penny I spend each day.
Harold Crow And His Guitar
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In Their Own Words I had never even considered that money management would be important to the Lord. I even said to Him, ‘I know Your not trying to teach me to value money, are you?’ His response came through a preacher who holds outdoor services near the Natchez Steamboat. He started his sermon when he hesitated. I saw an idea (Holy Spirit) hit him as he pulled a five dollar bill out of his pocket and said, ‘If I gave you this $5, it wouldn’t mean as much to you as it would if you had to earn it.’ This wasn’t the first time I had seen someone that I was listening to talk about something I had asked Christ. It was certainly true that the bank account had felt like an accomplishment. Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. April 14th I got off work with the rumor of the job continuing a few more weeks, but no certainty of it. But I didn’t worry. I went to the agency office, got my check, and took it to the bank. I walked out and saw that I had missed the bus. Not wanting to wait 30 minutes for the next bus, I started walking. I stopped at a fast food restaurant to get something to eat. While in line, two elderly women came in and cut in front of me, so I left and continued to the Mission. Since it was early, I didn’t want to go straight to the Mission, but something sent me down my usual path. While walking on the road, a white pickup pulled around the corner; the driver rolled down the window and asked if he could talk to me. Always wanting to lend a helping hand, I said yes. He then proceeded to tell me about how he was looking for some men to drive trucks. He noticed how dirty my clothes where and said it looked like I had been working hard. He told me about general laborers and how much his company paid them. It was 2-1/2x more than what I had been making. He also said that he would supply a place to stay at no cost till I got on my feet. My head was spinning a bit. Most things that seem too good to be true are. In looking back at all the things that had to take place to get me to that first meeting, I can’t help but give all the credit to Christ. I couldn’t have met up with the white truck if I had caught either bus. Nor would I had been there if the two ladies hadn’t cut in front of me. Even if I had taken another route, it would not have taken place. I was following God’s path that day.
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ITY ROCK C T N E C S E CR HE VING AT T R E S H C R N CHU ANS MISSIO E L R O W E N
On April 4th, a new local church, Crescent City Rock, led worship and served dinner at the New Orleans Mission. They had so much fun that they decided to do it once a month!
Be the church wherever you are. Cleaning can be fun
Enjoying the meal
Coming forward for prayer
Helping children help others
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Loretta talking to volunteers
Pastor Jim preaching the Word
Preparing drinks for dinner
Serving is always fun for all ages
Service with a smile
Praise band leading worship
Serving together is loving together GM_issue3.indd 7
Ready to serve
Shine for others to see
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LA TION U K A DA N U FO MAKING EVERY MOMENT MEANINGFUL
Recently, my family experienced the loss of my sister, Tracy, to breast cancer. We were sad enough about the prospect of losing Tracy, but we also had other things we had to deal with – important decisions about continuing or ceasing treatment; hospice care; financial issues, and finally, funeral arrangements. She was young, so she didn’t expect to have all of these end-of-life decisions thrust upon her. None of us were prepared for all of the decisions that needed to be made. We weren’t sure what Tracy wanted or what was best for her. The doctors provided us with options, but making decisions was difficult. It was all so very overwhelming. Then, after all of this was said and done, it was time to start the long grieving process. Recently, I learned about a foundation that was set up to help people who are experiencing these kinds of things. It would have been such a comfort to us if we would have known about it sooner. That’s why we are spotlighting the Akula Foundation in this issue. This is an important resource that is available for patients who are dying, and for their entire families as well. It is also a great place to volunteer - to make yourself available to provide help, hope, and practical assistance in times when it is needed the most. The Akula Foundation was formed in 1994 by Dr. Shiva Akula to benefit patients at Canon Hospice. Its Mission is to provide resources to people in need so that Canon Hospice may extend end of life care for those who might otherwise be underserved. But they do so much more. It has evolved into a resource for anyone who is experiencing any kind of loss. They provide counseling, support groups, and some financial aid to meet various needs. They have a unique and much needed outreach for children who have lost a family member, called Camp Swan. They offer a Reminiscing program for elderly patients, and they also provide an Eye Camp in India that helps people with cataracts. When we think of hospice, we may HOW CAN YOU HELP assume that it is a place where terminally AKULA FOUNDATION TO ill patients go to be made comfortable HELP OTHERS? in the end of their days. This can be VOLUNTEER! true. Hospice care is a great option for Have you ever thought that you would patients, because they receive care from be interested in volunteering to help professional staff who specialize in people during some of the most difficult hospice and palliative care in a caring and times of their lives? If so, there are many soothing environment. But Dr. Akula opportunities to help people through the believes that hospice care isn’t about Akula Foundation. You can help at the dying, it’s about living every day with children’s camp; you can help to counsel quality – for the terminally ill patient the bereaved, you can volunteer to work and for his or her family. So, hospice with the elderly, or with terminally ill facilities can also be a place of healing. patients. You can be a ray of sunshine to Hospice care is covered by some health people who really need it. DONATE! Akula Foundation relies on donations from individuals and grants. TREE OF LIFE: If you donate $100 you can have your name placed on the Tree of Life located on the wall in Canon Hospice. 4th Annual Akula Foundation Fundraiser “The Bowling Ball” a fun day, Sunday family event! A fundraiser benefiting the Akula Foundation and the No/Aids Task Force Sunday, June 26th 3-6pm Rock-N-Bowl contact Pat Moody (504) 818-2723 x3003 for more info
Dr. & Jamie Akula in front fo the Tree of Life at Canon Hospice. insurance policies, but there are many people who don’t have insurance. The Akula Foundation was formed to provide hospice care for patients who couldn’t afford it. Out of this, their Grief Resource Center was formed, which provides counseling to people who experience loss. After Hurricane Katrina, many more needs became evident. Akula Foundation rose to the occasion to help people grieving all kinds of losses. In order to qualify to receive help from Akula Foundation, the only requirement is that a person has a hurt that needs healing. The support they provide is free – it’s not based on income levels or the extent of someone’s pain. Here are some of the programs offered by the Akula Foundation: Grief counseling: Akula Foundation offers group support, free of charge, for anyone experiencing any kind of grief or hurt, for as long as it is needed. Meetings are held at various times, and they offer separate groups for adults, teens, tweens and children. Camp Swan: Camp Swan is a unique program for children who have lost family members to death. It’s an overnight camp where children receive counseling while spending time with other children who have experienced a similar loss. They do fun crafts that help them through the
Camp Swan Group Photo
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Camp Swan Making Friends
Camp Swan Arts and Crafts
There is a booklet that is provided by Canon Hospice and Akula Foundation called 5 Wishes. In it, you can read information contained in the booklet and then write down your wishes for: 1) who you want to make decision for you if you can’t; 2) the kinds of medical treatment you do/don’t want; 3) how comfortable you want to be; 4) how you want to be treated, and 5) what you want your loved ones to know. It is basically a form for a living will, with all of your questions answered in the brochure. To receive a copy, call 504-8182723 in New Orleans, 225-926-1404 in Baton Rouge, 985-626-3051 in Mandeville, and 228575-6251 in Gulfport. grieving process. It is free for all children who have experienced the loss of a parent , a sibling, or someone else close to them. Reminiscence Therapy: This is a program that is offered on a regular basis in several nursing homes. It helps elderly patients to reminisce and to relive events from their past, which helps them to, among other things, communicate and interact with others in a group, focus the mind, and ease loneliness. Education: Akula Foundation offers accredited educational seminars for professionals working in hospice and palliative care, and also to lay people who are interested in volunteering or working in this field. Care: Akula Foundation offers services for indigent patients and families who would otherwise be underserved. They also grant special individual requests and provide support to families at Canon Hospice who are struggling with financial burdens while caring for a family member with terminal illness. Akula Foundation exists to help people with whatever their needs are while they are experiencing difficult times due to an illness or the loss of a loved one. Dr. Akula and his wife, Jamie Akula, are individuals who love and care about our community. They truly want to help to ease people’s suffering and grieving. They offer many services, but additionally, they take the trouble to find out what people really need, and then try to address those specific needs as well. To find our more information about Akula Foundation – either to seek their services or to volunteer, call them at 504-818-2723 in New Orleans, 225-926-1404 in Baton Rouge, 985-626-3051 in Mandeville, and 228-575-6251 in Gulfport, or visit their website at www.akulafamilyfoundation.com.
Camp Swan Group Project
Camp Swan Having Fun With Music
Camp Swan Smiling Faces
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i F n i d e Engulf eena L Myers
he abandoned his evangelistic plans and walked up a nearby hill to be alone. His position on the hill gave him a view of most of the campground. His eyes traveled from a group playing basketball, to another group sitting in a circle talking and laughing. Other groups were praying and some strummed guitars singing praises to their God. Suddenly, Wade felt jealousy sweep over him. “God seldom speaks to our ears. He speaks directly to our heart, and I heard his voice clearly that day. The Christians had something better than I had. As I walked down the hill, I wanted to join their gang.” Wade knew he had to leave, so he could attend the party GEDE had planned for him. He wasn’t leaving until he walked down the dirt floor to the altar in the roughly constructed shack without windows or air conditioning serving as a church. He found a seat near one of the two light bulbs illuminating the building. “Turn to John 14:6,” said the preacher. Wade opened the Bible his mother had given to him and read, “I am the way the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the father, but by me.” Another light flipped on dispelling the darkness, not in the dimly lit church, but the darkness in Wades mind. At the conclusion of the message, he ran to the altar and prayed Jesus would accept him into the Christian gang. That night, Wade lay on his cot quietly forgiving those who had hurt him. “As I forgave my Mom, my Dad, and anyone else I could think of, I felt engulfed in fire from my head to my toe. The next day, my mother told me it was the Holy Spirit. In retrospect, if I had not had that experience, I don’t think I could have done what I did at the party.” Wade returned to Tegucigalpa and walked into the hall that had been rented for his party. As he milled through the eighty-five members that were present he heard. “What happened to you?” He turned to see who was talking. “You look different,” someone else said. Wade didn’t understand what they meant. “Your face, there is something different about your face.” Then Wade realized they were seeing the new person he had become, and he was a lamb among wolves. The president of the gang silenced the room and said to Wade, “Tonight anything you want is yours.” “I want to form a circle,” said Wade. The crowd quickly formed a jagged circle and joined hands. “Are we going to fight each other?” “No. I want us to pray.” The music stopped. Jaws dropped. Foreheads furrowed wondering if their ears had betrayed them.
Wade Mateo Moody was seventeen when he moved to Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, to open a computer school. Lacking equipment and financial backing the business failed, but he made close friends during the venture. When local gangs harassed his friends, they realized the necessity of helping one another. “We didn’t intend to start a new gang, but that is what we became,” said Wade. “We were different. We were involved in drugs and street fighting, but we also had brains. We designed our gang to protect ourselves from other gangs and from the police.” The city of Tegucigalpa had a zero tolerance policy for gangs and its citizen’s had limited rights. The police beat gang members without reprisal. Sometimes gangs disappeared without explanation. Wade and his friends took advantage of government connections and applied for credentials as GEDE, a group organized to assist in disasters and emergencies. The credentials gave them access to military training and permission to carry weapons. “At the time, there were a lot of mudslides causing disasters. The government would call us to assist in rescue operations but it was just a cover. Privately we joked, ‘We are specialist in disasters; we make the disasters.’ The credentials gave us privileges other gangs didn’t have. If we fought a rival gang and the police showed up, we showed them our credentials. They let us go and arrested the other gang. That made us a popular gang to join. Ironically, the gang we formed for protection carried a high price. Our popularity made us a target of the other gangs. I couldn’t leave home without arming myself.” Wade’s mother sent him letters about being “born again”. His mother had been involved in a lot of spiritual things, and he dismissed it as another religious fad she was involved in. One day, he received a Bible in the mail. His mother had highlighted everything Jesus said in red. The enclosed letter said, “Please read the gospel of John.” He read the gospel but didn’t understand it. As the economy in Honduras worsened, his mother seized the opportunity to separate Wade from his gang. “Go to the states and live with your brother, she said. “You can get a job there and return to school.” Wade knew his mother was right. His business ventures had failed and it was increasingly difficult to cover expenses with his low paying job. “I figured if I went to the states and worked for a while, I could save money to buy computers. When I returned, I could reopen the computer school, and my gang would be the biggest, baddest gang in town. In Wade Moody Praying addition to the other benefits our gang offered, we would own a business. I made arrangements to live with my brother in New Orleans.” GEDE arranged a party to show their support of Wade’s new venture. A week before the party, his mother called. “Wade, I’d like to spend time with you before you leave. My church is going to a youth camp near Tegucigalpa. Why don’t you come for a few days? There are more than 400 young people attending.” Wade held the position of recruiter in GEDE. He wanted to spend time with his mother, but he also saw a field ripe for harvesting recruits into his gang. Wade drove his motorcycle onto the campgrounds early Monday morning and saw a former gang member. He followed him thinking the gang member would help recruit others. Wade was confused to learn the man had converted to Christianity and wasn’t interested in rejoining the gang. He spent the rest of the day evangelizing for the dark side to no avail. The next day, Wade awoke depressed. By late afternoon, By T
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Life Stories: Answering the Call Wade swallowed; his mouth dry. He suddenly realized that he didn’t know how to pray but had to finish what he started. “Jesus, please do for them what you did for me. Amen.” Wade walked through the stunned crowd and out the door. He mounted his motorcycle and drove a few blocks up a hill where he stopped to see what would happen next. He watched the lights in the hall flip off one by one, as gang members exited and drove away. Fear gripped Wade. He knew there would be consequences and drove around the city wondering when they would catch him. He finally pulled in front of his apartment. The lights were on and the vehicles of the gang’s leaders were parked nearby. Wade resigned himself to his fate. As soon as Wade stepped into his apartment, one of the leaders said, “Are you really a Christian?” The agitation in his voice increased Wade’s fear. “Yes,” said Wade. “I love you guys, but I can’t live like this anymore.” Two of the leaders leaped to their feet, cursed and left in anger. Four remained. Wade braced himself for the beating that was sure to follow. One of the leaders said, “We don’t know what happened to you, but we want what you have.” Wade sighed with relief. “You just need to tell Jesus you want him in your life.” Wade and his friends talked late into the night. Before they left, he promised to bring them to church on Sunday. Sunday morning, the gang leaders arrived with fifteen gang members. All of them wanted to attend church. “When we walked into the church,” said Wade, “the people parted like the Red Sea when Moses raised his staff. I thought they were being nice and giving us their seats.” Wade smiled. “They were afraid of us. At the end of the sermon, every gang member went to the altar to receive Christ. I’ve kept in touch with them through the years and all of them are still committed Christians. Most became pastors.” Wade Moody is the pastor of Igelisa VIDA, 211 Waldo Street, Metairie, Louisiana. For more information go to www.iglesiavidaneworleans.com. Contact Pastor Wade at email@example.com
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ies Count n n e P g n i Mak
BEING FRUGAL EVERY DAY IN A NEW WAY
Call me cheap, I don’t mind. Of course, I’d prefer thrifty. I do spend money, and yes, sometimes I buy things I don’t need. I give money away, too -- to charity, to my church and I treat friends to dinner and buy gifts for people. But there are other areas where I watch every penny; I’m always thinking of new ways to be frugal. It really does work. Think about it; if you put your pocket change in a piggy bank every day, you would fill it up pretty fast – by the end of the month you would have at least $30 or more. The same thing happens when we find ways to save pennies – it really adds up over time. Here are some things that I’ve either stopped buying, or I only buy a few times per year. Can you think of some more? Paper towels and napkins. For most meals I use a dish towel instead of a napkin if I’m eating by myself. For family meals, I use cloth napkins. When I spill things, I use dish towels. For cleaning, I use towels. The only time I seem to use paper napkins is if I’m having a party with more people than I have cloth napkins. I use a vented plastic lid that was designed to cover food in the microwave instead of paper towels. Plastic wrap/baggies: I re-use the plastic bags I get from the produce department in the grocery. If I purchase bread with an inner wrap and an outer plastic wrap, I reuse the outer wrap. I purchased a plastic container to keep the unused portions of onions and tomatoes in. Trash bags. For everyday use I use grocery bags instead of trash bags. I save my store-bought trash bags for spring cleaning, parties, and big cleanups. Styrofoam or paper cups. Styrofoam is one of the worst things for the environment. These days there are many nice portable coffee mugs that you can take with you in your car. For cold drinks to go, I keep a stock of plastic cups accumulated from restaurants and Mardi Gras parades. Paper plates. I bought a supply of reusable plastic plates to use for parties and other events. They are pretty and colorful, and much sturdier than paper, so I can pile on the barbeque sauces and potato salad without any worries of seepage or bending the plate. I even have some Christmas plates – I got them on clearance after Christmas one year. Tupperware. I recycle my margarine and lunch meat containers. I don’t put them in the microwave, but they’re great for storage in the refrigerator or the freezer. Prepared boxed meals or side dishes. It’s surprisingly easy to make these types of dishes from scratch. It’s cheaper, and there aren’t as many preservatives. I prepare rice with a little chicken broth and vegetables for a delicious side dish. For pasta, I boil noodles and add a little butter and parmesan cheese. I create my own hamburger helper; I brown the meat, add some cream of mushroom soup, a can of peas and some rice. I build my own pizzas by seasoning tomato sauce and adding vegetables and cheese on a pita. Then I bake it in the oven until the cheese melts. Exercise videos. There’s an entire channel dedicated to exercise videos, called FIT-TV. I also have classic rock workout music on my satellite TV; I can dance/exercise without any commercial interruptions. Or, I drive to the park to walk or, better yet, we can get to know our neighbors by walking around the neighborhood. 12
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BILL GLA SS DAY O F CHAMP AT HUNT IONS AND ST. G ABRIEL CORRECT IONAL FA CILITIES
On March 26, 2011, over 100 volunteers went to the men’s and women’s prison facilities in St. Gabriel, LA to share their faith and to serve. The team from Bill Glass offered some powerful testimonies, and it was a great day. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the prison, but here are some pictures of some of the people who served. Bill Glass is sponsoring a Weekend of Champions from October 1315th. They will be serving in at least 7 prisons in the Greater New Orleans area. Many volunteers are needed. For more information, go to www.billglass.org. Serving together-making friends
Celebrating after serving together
Training by Murph the Surf
Some of the bikers who served
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p e e l S t e e w S By Elizabeth
Sleep is an amazing thing. There are numerous scientific studies reminding us of this fact. They tell us that not getting enough sleep can result in obesity, increased cancer risk, heart disease, and earlier death. Getting sleep helps us to be nicer, smarter, and better looking. Not to mention, it’s just fun. Who doesn’t love curling up under a blanket at night, or sleeping in an extra hour on Saturdays? Sleep is an amazing thing. Sadly, there are children around the world who don’t know how amazing sleep is. They rarely have a full night of sleep. Many times this is simply because they don’t have beds, or if they do, the beds are often soiled, broken, bug-infested, or dangerous. These children don’t know what it is like to curl up under a blanket at night, or sleep an extra hour on Saturday. As a result of not getting enough sleep, they are more susceptible to disease, bone and joint trauma, and learning problems. For some children, sleeping without mosquito nets means risking malaria. There is an organization working to show these children, many orphaned, or abandoned, how amazing sleep is. Sweet Sleep is a faith-based organization whose motto is, “A bed for every head.” They provide children around the world with sturdy beds, mattresses, blankets, and mosquito nets, depending on their needs. The vision of Sweet Sleep is for every orphaned child in the world to have their own bed, reminding them that they are loved, protected, and cared for by Jesus.
Meeting New Friends Port-au-Prince
Excited about their new beds
Sleeping Boy Waiting for Sweet Dreams
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Non.Profit Spotlight Laura Ramey
In the eight years since the founding of Sweet Sleep, the organization has been able to provide beds for over 13,000 children in Moldova, Uganda, Northern Uganda, and Haiti. They provide sturdy bunk-beds for children in orphanages, and straw mats and mattress sets for displaced refugee children in Uganda returning to their homes. Because the beds are made to fit the environment and because Sweet Sleep utilizes as many local businesses as possible for the bed production, the beds vary in cost from $50-$200. There are many ways for churches and organizations to get involved in Sweet Sleep’s mission. Their website provides resources for bed races, nickel-drives, camp-outs, and more. They have programs for children, students, college groups, and all ages. Sweet Sleep also offers the opportunity for participation in Missions Journeys to
deliver the beds to the children. When they think of orphans in the world, many people think of their need for food, clothing, or shelter, but most people do not think of the need for a good night’s sleep. Sweet Sleep is providing kids with a way to get many good nights of sleep. And sleep is an amazing thing. Check out http://sweetsleep.org for more information and ways to get involved.
Canon Hospice Dedicated Physicians and Staff of Canon Hospice
A Time of Celebration
Canon Hospice is making a difference in our community by providing quality end of life care to those seeking comfort and dignity while dealing with a life limiting illness. Canon’s community involvement is extended even further through the non-proﬁt Akula Foundation. The Foundation sponsors Camp Swan, a children’s bereavement camp, The Canon Hospice Health Hour, on WIST 690AM (airs live 9-10 AM each Saturday morning), and the Grief Resource Center, a service provided to anyone who is experiencing any type of loss in their life. All foundation services are free and open to the public. For information about Canon Hospice, Camp Swan and the Canon Hospice Health Hour call 504-818-2723 ext. 3012, for the Grief Resource Center call 818-2723 ext. 3003.
Greater New Orleans
Mississippi Gulf Coast
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t of By o h S a ave Dallas Can I Hn, Please? McGlinn o Rejecti Rejection. No one
it toughens us up, and it gives us the strength to try again. After that scary hurdle of that first rejection, the next ones must get easier. Why else would politicians keep running for office even after they’ve lost? Sometimes I think that most people in office eventually win because people became familiar with their names after they ran several times and lost. I’ve always thought that a politician’s concession speech likes it, but some are must be one of the most painful things to deliver – especially after a nasty campaign. more afraid of it than And yet they try again and again. Could it be that, once a person has experienced others. I’ve had to come rejection, he or she becomes toughened up, so that rejections are seen as a challenge to terms with this a lot to overcome instead of a loss? Rejection teaches us. Since I’ve started Gathering Magazine, I’ve read a lot of recently, because I’m learning how to do sales business publications. One thing that I’ve learned is that most successful small calls for Gathering. In businesses failed at first. But, instead of closing the business and giving up, the order to be a successful owners looked at what they could do better, and then they changed things. I have sales person, we must be even read about some businesses that started out as one thing, but then evolved into willing to face rejection. something completely unrelated to the original plan. These entrepreneurs decided I’ve been told that often they were not going to take “no” answers lying down – they were going to keep on sales people receive more no answers than yeses, but they fixing things until they heard a “yes.” Sometimes rejection turns out to be a blessing in disguise. I know from experience still keep going. What is that thing inside of a sales person that helps him or her to keep trying again and again, even that several people who received promotions at one of my old jobs ended up being after being rejected? I’m not sure what it is, but I know I the first people laid off when our company started cutting back. Maybe some things we reach out for aren’t a good fit for some reason, and the Lord is looking out for us. have to find it in order to be successful. Finally, those of us who have been rejected There are a lot of ways we can be rejected – we can Jesus Himself ask someone out and be rejected; we can apply for a job I’m convinced that there are in very good company. was rejected. In Mark 10, He said, “haven’t or a promotion and be turned down; we can do a sales you read what Scripture says, ’The stone the pitch and have a person say no; we can ask a friend to are more ways to feel lunch, they say no, and then see them eating out with rejected than there are builders didn’t accept has become the most important stone of all?’” Mk 10:12 (NIV). He someone else. I’m convinced that there are more ways stars in the sky. was rejected by his own people and his closest to feel rejected than there are stars in the sky. disciples – think of Peter denying Him (Matt. But if we don’t risk rejection, we may never go on that first date, we may never receive that job or promotion; 26:68-70) and of Judas, who kissed Him and then turned Him in (Matt. 26:48). In we may never make the sale, and we may end up with no fact, the crowd was given the choice between having a murderer put to death and Jesus, and they chose that Jesus should die (Luke 23:18). No one was more rejected friends. Rejection is painful, but it is a necessary risk, because if we than Jesus, and He didn’t do anything wrong at all. What this means is that rejection does not make us losers; it makes us winners! We avoid the possibility of rejection, we will never accomplish share the fate of being rejected with Jesus and many other important historical figures anything of real value. – including Walt Disney*, who was fired as a newspaper editor for not having enough So, rejection happens. How do we deal with it? First of all, we should look at rejection in a positive way. imagination. Bill Gates’ first business was a failure. Failure is an opportunity, not a Rejection is good for us. Every time we receive rejection, stop sign! And remember the most important thing - even if all of humankind rejects us, we are still accepted where it counts – by God. Scripture says, “My father and mother may desert me, but the Lord will accept me. “ Ps. 27:10 (NIV). We are, all of us, truly people of substance. We are children of God, and we all have something valuable to offer. So, next time you hesitate to do something because of possible rejection, remember that rejection can always be a blessing – either because there is a good reason for it or because something good will come out of it. Rejection is a positive, not a negative, so reach out and pursue your dreams, regardless of what may happen!
Failure is an opportunity, not a stop sign!
Photo by Susan Yancich
*For examples of more leaders who failed before they succeeded, go to: http://www.onlinecollege. org/2010/02/16/50-famouslysuccessful-people-who-failedat-first/.
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t Haughe ry:
At the intersection of Prytania and Camp Streets, near Clio, stands “The B read Wo Margaret Place. In the midst of the Park is a statue simply labeled: men of N ew Orlea “Margaret.” Erected in July of 1884, it honors Margaret Haughery, known as the “Bread Turning T ns” ragedy in Women of New Orleans.” Only the second statue erected in the United States honoring a woman, t o T r iumph it was crafted by artist Alexander Doyle who also did the statues of Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle and By Kevin Brown P.G.T. Beauregard at the entrance to City Park. Margaret was born in 1813, in Tully, Carrigallen County Leitrim to William and Margaret O’Rourke Gaffney. They left Ireland in 1818, landing in Baltimore. The six month ship journey was besieged by storms and those aboard were limited to one cracker per day as rations diminished. Shortly after gender. At her life’s end she donated landing, Margaret’s younger sister died. Four years after their arrival in the New World, Margaret’s parents died in the yellow fever epidemic a p p r o x i m a t e l y of 1822. Young Margaret, now nine, was an orphan and was taken in by a Welsh woman who met $600,000 to charity, her family on the ship journey to the United States. She became a domestic, washing clothes for the a formidable sum at that time. Despite wealthy. Margaret never learned to read or write. At age 21 she met and married Irishman Charles Haughery. Charles, in failing health, moved with her prosperity, it was Margaret to New Orleans in pursuit of a warmer climate. As his health continued to fail, he traveled said that she never to Ireland, promising to send for Margaret and their newborn daughter, Frances at a later date. He owned more than two dresses, one for died soon after. Then Frances died, and Margaret was alone again. Margaret went to work in the St. Charles Hotel as a washerwoman. While there she had an epiphany: daily wear and the she would spend the rest of her life dedicated to the cause of the orphans of New Orleans. She made other for church. Some of the contact with the Sisters of Charity and began to divide her days between work and the Poydras charities she either Orphan Asylum serving alongside the Sisters of Charity. She proved so effective as a fundraiser that the Sisters hired her founded or supported include: Margaret Haughery Statue in the Irish Channel - full-time. Ultimately St. Teresa of Avila Church and Orphan the First One Erected for a Woman she became an Asylum Protestant Episcopal Home administrator of 7th Street Protestant Orphan Asylum several orphanages. German Protestant Orphan Asylum Meanwhile, German Orphan Asylum Margaret purchased Widows and Orphans of Jews Asylum two cows and began Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul selling milk from a cart. Within two years Margaret died in 1882. Her obituary was she had purchased a featured on the front page of the Picayune, herd of 40 cows and was running a highly the city’s largest newspaper. Her funeral was profitable business. so well attended that the casket could barely She took over a make it through the aisle of the church. bakery that was in In 1956 the Mississippi Bridge Authority financial trouble and it also became constructed the Camp Street Ramp, a huge success. effectively hiding Margaret’s statue from Upon converting view. By 1994, when the ramp was removed, the bakery to steam the damage to the statue was extensive. power she created the Currently there are efforts underway to first steam-powered repair it. bakery in the south, Margaret Haughery stands testimony to which led to her moniker “The Bread St. Paul’s words in Romans 5:3-4: “Not Woman of New only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces Orleans.” As her businesses perseverance; perseverance, character; and flourished, Margaret’s character, hope. Her triumph over adversity p h i l a n t h r o p y provided hope for an entire generation of increased. She fed New Orleanians. orphans and those To find out more about Margaret down on their luck. She opened new Haughery: orphanages and Great Characters of New Orleans by Mel contributed to others. Her wisdom and Leavitt, 1984. Margaret: Friend of Orphans counsel were sought by Mary Lou Widmer, 1996 http://www.facebook.com/pages/ by many throughout the city regardless Beloved-Margaret-Haughery-of-Newof race, class or Orleans/208149613587 17
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onder P o t s t n Poi stianRo? i r h C t n e v By: Dean ss Is This E
Ok so I’ll confess right off the bat that I know what most people think when asking this question. I’ve heard it many times as executive director of Abandon Productions, a faith-based, non-profit ministry that for close to a decade has planned, promoted, and produced some of the larger faith-based events across New Orleans and the Gulf South region. Our events have included the likes of Toby Mac, Chris Tomlin, Lecrae, Louie Giglio, Skillet, Flame, Avalon, David Nasser, and many more, in addition to locals like Corey Hicks or Jake Smith.
you into places you otherwise wouldn’t land; it may even cost your life - or maybe just your “Christian” reputation. Most Christians love to worship with music. There is nothing quite like joining in with an army of saints proclaiming the glory and fame of Christ! But always be guarded that worship songs sung at church on a weekend are simply an extension of a 7 day-a-week walk with Christ outside of the walls of church. Otherwise our songs are simply “Christian” karaoke. Music doesn’t define worship, mission does! Missional living includes reading your bible daily, praying,
Beginning as a ministry to reach out to teens in high school, Abandon Productions has grown to produce over 100 major events and movements, impacting thousands with the Gospel and serving hundreds of churches across the South. We’ve done every venue from the Louisiana Superdome to the New Orleans Arena, from Household of Faith to Celebration Church, from Central Abandon @ The Hard Rock: Daniel Bashta City playgrounds to Zephyr Field, from Calvary Baptist Church to Victory Fellowship, from Hard Rock Café to House of Blues. Wait a minute, Hard Rock Café? Did you say House of Blues? God can’t show up there, right? Two years ago the staff of our ministry began a season of fasting and prayer for venue space to open up for us to use for ministry events. We didn’t have our mind set on whether that meant owning a space or using something already in existence. During this time the Hard Rock Café in the French Quarter called us asking if we’d be interested in doing “Christian” events at their space. Random? - wait a minute. Are you telling me a secular, well known venue in the heart of our city called to offer us the platform to proclaim the glory and fame of Christ? That, I firmly believe, was the realization of our season of fasting and prayer. Our ministry aims to find a balance of using both church and non-church spaces for events. So it’s quite intriguing when we get the question, “Is this event Christian?” My assumption is they’re implying a venue like Hard Rock or House of Blues doesn’t seem like the first place you’d go to for a “Christian” event. Derek Webb of the band Caedmon’s Call recently tweeted, “The word ‘Christian’ when applied to anything other than a human is just a marketing term.” I’m not saying I’m an advocate for everything Mr. Webb puts out but he sure makes a point - which leads us to a larger issue of faith: Worship vs. Missional Living. Worship creates mission. Mission will often lead Dean Ross serves as executive director of Abandon Productions. This ministry continues to hold faith-based events at Hard Rock Café and House of Blues throughout the year in addition to churches and other spots across Metro New Orleans. Venue development is one of the strategic focuses of this ministry in 2011 in addition to the supported launch of First Priority NOLA (www.fpnola.org) and maintaining current ministry functions of assisting the local church, proclaiming Jesus Christ, and mobilizing God’s people in mission. For more information visit www.abandonproductions.org. 18
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Words of Faith & sharing your faith. Hebrews 13:15-16 (ESV) says, “Through him (Jesus) then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Worship of Jesus Christ is what sets apart and defines a Christian. We were created to be the image of God here on Earth in constant worship of Him. Mission is simply a reflection of worship, even when it takes you to the oddest of places. Our aim should not be to create a “Christian” subculture Gillespie s with Aaron but to be infused into culture as Christians! os R n ea D k: he Hard Roc Abandon @ T So when getting the question, “Is this event Christian?,” it makes me ponder, “ Is the question simply being asked because we’re in a venue the ‘Christian’ world has isolated itself from at the expense of many hearing the Gospel?” Or might the question be, “Does this event exist for the sake of worship and missional living for Christians across our city to spread the glory and fame of Christ through both our talk and our walk?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Gathering Magazine provides a service to its readers and our community. Please consider supporting our magazine by purchasing an annual subscription. You can subscribe online at www. gatheringmagazine.com, or complete the form below and send it with your check or money order for the $20 annual subscription rate to: Gathering Magazine, P.O. Box 384, Kenner, LA 70063.
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Osyka Seafood Restaurant and Market By Cyndi McMurray
While eating at this little seafood restaurant, a couple came in to pick up a “to go” order. I heard the man say” So what is it you put in this to make us come back”?
Their Sign Reflects Their Faith
Osyka Seafood Restaurant and Market is located at 1029 Hwy 51 Osyka, Ms. Open Wednesdays 11am-5pm and Thursday through Saturday, 11am – 9pm Phone 601-542-1222. Cooking
I knew just what he was talking about! This is not your ordinary seafood restaurant. After just one bite, you know that you’re in for an authentic Louisiana meal. But, you are not in Louisiana. You are in Osyka Seafood Restaurant and Market, on Hwy 51, just past the Louisiana State line in Mississippi. The restaurant is owned by Gordon Melerine and his wife, Cheryl. Their family was forced to move after they lost their home and commercial oyster and fishing business due to Hurricane Katrina. A fourth generation fisherman, Gordon knew that he wanted to continue the tradition and keep his heritage alive. Their faith kept the family at peace knowing that all would be okay, and when they found this location in Osyka, they knew it was time to start over. May 10th was there five year anniversary, and business is good! There must be some secret recipes handed down from generation to generation. The boiled crawfish are the best when in season. Since I cannot make up my mind about what my favorite dish would be, I will tell you that the oysters, fish, and shrimp are tasty; they have just the right amount of spice to make you want to come back for more. And if you still feel like treating yourself, you have to order the warm bread pudding with your choice of rum or whiskey sauce. If you want fresh seafood to bring home and cook yourself, they have that option, too. They also serve hot po boys and other home cooked dishes for those who can’t eat seafood.
I grew up in New Orleans and I can testify to the fact that this is a diamond in the rough when it comes to authentic St. Bernard Parish (better known as Da Parish) cooking. Take an afternoon drive and you will want to go back. I do it all the time! Oysters
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Hebrews, Esther, Daniel, Revelation, Galatians, Matthew, Genesis, Psalms, Joshua, Numbers, Ephesians ANSWER KEY: GM_issue3.indd 21
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GATHERING MAGAZINE - YOUR “GO TO” COMMUNITY RESOURCE Please check out Gathering Magazine’s website at www.gatheringmagazine.com, where you will find: • A database of nonprofits, churches and volunteer opportunities. Do you have a nonprofit? Do you need volunteers? Gathering Magazine will post your information on our website -- a service that is free of charge for nonprofits, churches and ministries. • A calendar of events for nonprofits, volunteer opportunities and fundraisers. Gathering Magazine will post events, classes,outreaches, fundraisers and other service opportunities on our calendar. If you need volunteers or donations, if you want to volunteer, or if you just want to see what’s going on, go to www.gatheringmagazine.com as your community outreach resource. Gathering Magazine P.O. Box 384 Kenner, LA 70063 504-453-6034 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gatheringmagazine.com
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