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'Gospel Voices of OC' places Black lives, song, dance and artistry on level for Juneteenth – Los Angeles Instances



For Costa Mesa’s Debora Wondercheck, Juneteenth is a time for reflecting at the struggles continued via ancestors born into slavery, the developments that ended in their emancipation and the perseverance cast all over their gradual march to freedom.
Even supposing federal popularity of the ancient June 19, 1965 — the date enslaved Black other folks in Galveston, Texas first realized from Union squaddies they’d already been freed — was once established final 12 months, Juneteenth, for plenty of, is marked amongst households and inscribed on hearts around the country.
“It’s a time for being reminded what our ancestors went via to get out of slavery,” Wondercheck stated Wednesday. “It’s a time for reflecting at the accomplishments, the breakthroughs and the resilience that got here out of being unfastened with no need any sources in any respect.”
A cellist and song professor, Wondercheck based the Arts and Finding out Conservatory in 2004 to offer higher get admission to to the humanities for formative years, irrespective of their background, ethnicity or monetary standing.
What started as a string ensemble camp for roughly 20 children blossomed right into a program that now has 35 educating artists providing appearing, dancing, making a song and song courses to loads of children right through the group and in dozens of colleges.
Now, Wondercheck is the usage of her deep connections within the Orange County arts scene and with house church buildings and establishments to create a Juneteenth birthday celebration with an odd challenge — to inform the tale of the Black revel in in tune, song, dance and spoken phrase.
The result’s “Gospel Voices of OC,” a staged live performance that takes position Sunday afternoon at Chapman College’s Musco Middle for the Arts and contours greater than 100 formative years and grownup performers contributing to a story that spans centuries and touches at the achievements and contributions of Black leaders, activists and artists right through historical past.
“We’re taking everybody on a adventure and a gospel revel in,” Wondercheck stated. “In the middle of the entire heartaches and the whole thing African American citizens have long past via, it was once the church and the religion that held us in combination and gave us a voice.”
Sonya Griffin, a vocalist who serves as choir director at Friendship Baptist Church in Yorba Linda and is taking part in Sunday’s efficiency, described gospel as a linchpin of Black tradition.
“Gospel song comes from the hearts of the individuals who had been enslaved and sang to God,” she defined. “They sang about being unfastened, and we at the moment are in any case in a position to sing about our freedom. We’re unfastened to sing with different races and unfastened to sing the songs we grew up on.”
Violinist and Santa Monica School song professor Lesa Terry has been operating with Wondercheck because the creative director for the live performance to increase a idea that encapsulates the that means of Juneteenth.
“Juneteenth, to me, is set undeniability,” she stated Wednesday. “We’re right here, we all the time were right here, and now we will be able to be identified in some way acting arts facilities will give a boost to and keep growing.”
Terry is operating to make sure this system’s various forged, types and performances take care of a robust via line as target market individuals are transported from Africa, throughout the Atlantic Ocean’s heart passage and onto The united states’s shores. As the tale continues, influences and scenes of the Harlem Renaissance, jazz and the Civil Rights generation are integrated, proceeding as much as lately.
“All the ones types come from the similar root, which is African tradition,” Terry stated. “We communicate concerning the historic elements, however even past that’s the manner it makes you are feeling. That feeling is the sensation of energy and unity — if we get to that, then we all know we’ve completed our task.”
Wondercheck, who works intently with children, teenagers on the Arts and Finding out Conservancy, recruited a number of sweet sixteen performers to take part in Sunday’s program.
Karen Allen-Reid, a Costa Mesa resident and choir director for Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, will lead a formative years choir. They are going to sing “Wade within the Water,” a non secular whose lyrics had been meant to put across to slaves escaping at the Underground Railroad that hiding in water would throw off the smell of canines educated to trace them.
Allen-Reid defined that, within the live performance, adults will sing the tune in a extra conventional structure, ahead of formative years select up the lyrics with a gospel taste that displays how traditions and their meanings evolve throughout generations. Such is correct with Juneteenth itself.
“There’s a brand new consciousness of it now, and other folks need to have fun,” she stated. “That is excellent for Orange County.”
Whilst the forged can be many and the tale epic, the purpose of “Gospel Voices of OC” is understated to Wondercheck.
“It’s no longer on the subject of Black other folks,” she stated. “It’s about all people coming in combination to have fun the breakthroughs and resilience and transferring ahead.”
“Gospel Voices of OC” takes position Sunday at 4 p.m. at Chapman College’s Musco Middle for the Arts, 1 College Pressure, in Orange. For tickets, consult with or name (844) 626-8726.
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Sara Cardine covers the town of Costa Mesa for the Day-to-day Pilot. She comes from the Los angeles Cañada Valley Solar, the place she spent six years as the scoop reporter masking Los angeles Cañada Flintridge and just lately gained a first-place Public Carrier Journalism award from the California Information Publishers Assn. She’s additionally labored on the Pasadena Weekly, Stockton Report and Lodi-Information Sentinel, which instilled in her a love for group information. (714) 966-4627




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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother




The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God




The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement




The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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