Dear ND Alumni,
I am writing this quick email to you on this Thanksgiving Day morning. I seldom have or take time to go to movies, but last night Patt and I went to see the movie, "The Help." I had started watching it on my flight home last week from Asia but the sound was so bad that I had to stop watching it. However, I saw enough to want to clearly hear and see the whole story in a theatre when I got back. Patt readily agreed to go with me even though she had already seen it with our daughter, daughters-in-law and friends. It was showing at the Graham Cinema -- where all movies are just $3.00 and popcorn comes with free refills! What a deal!
For me it was a powerful, painful and poignant movie! It was like stepping in a time machine and going back to the early days of The New Directions. As a ministry, we were born in those tumultuous days of segregation and integration. Some of our earlier ND members came out of the kinds of homes that were reflected in 'The Help.' Some were from more privileged 'white homes' that had 'domestic help' as the norm. Others came from the 'colored homes' of those same domestic workers. Both our Black and White members had grown up in largely segregated communities and spent most of their earlier education in racially segregated schools. So for us to be working together -- singing together…praying together...traveling together…witnessing together...eating together -- was radical!
Because of our interracial profile, we were thrust into the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in Alamance County -- and everywhere we traveled with our "Action Experience in Christian Love!" We were just naively seeking to be a positive incarnation and demonstration of the reconciliation that we were finding in the Lord Jesus. We believed and taught that "Racism is not a skin problem -- but a sin problem!" And only the Lord Jesus could forgive the sin and transform the heart to the degree that racism and prejudices could be laid aside for authentic reconciliation in Christ!
Dear ND Alumni,
Loving greetings in Christ to each of you! I just got home last night from Sudan and Ethiopia and leave a week from today for India and Nepal. Then in December I have one more trip to Kenya -- which will end my year of travel. So I am really enjoying my laid-back-slowed-down-easy-going-retirement! NOT! So thanks for your prayers during this past year of travel and ministry! My schedule has been just like some of our old "ND Tours" -- packed to the gills!
I am shooting this quick email to EVERYONE we have on our ND Alumni Email List as a follow-up to my most recent email to you. As a result of that last mailing, Patt and I have gotten some encouraging responses. Some had apparently not gotten my earlier emails and letters about this…some had procrastinated…others had thought it was too late to respond! Regardless, I hope that any of you who have still not responded will do so ASAP. To that end, I hope you will send us your latest "family picture" to post with your memories -- just like this great one from Steve "Fuji" Allen, who was in the original NDs!
So please follow his example and get us your memories ASAP!
Thanks…JL & Patt
PS: As many of you know, I will turn the "Big 70" this year! So by God's grace I am moving toward the "4 score and 10" the Bible talks about (Ps. 90:10). So if any of you are in town on Dec. 31st, Patt and I would love to have you drop by to help me celebrate! To that end, I am attaching the invitation below.
“It was a great joy to reconnect with Rev. Don Lloyd and Mollie at our recent “40th Anniversary Celebration.” They are now pastoring the Centenary UMC in Greensboro, so we hope to see much more of them in the months ahead. Don was the drummer for NDI and Mollie was a singer and soloist. We rejoice in their faithfulness to the Lord and to His church locally and globally.”
JL & Patt
Patt and I want to thank each of you who made the effort to be with us for this historic “40th Anniversary Celebration.” For those who could not make it, I hope these pictures (40th Anniversary Celebration Pictures) give you some of the highlights of the weekend. They are located under the “Alumni” tab. Also, be sure to place your cursor on the pictures to read the accompanying captions (unfortunately we did not get pictures of the following alumni: Alicia Timmons, Danny and Heather Bunzey, Wally Kernodle, Donnie Lloyd, Dick Orcutt, Teresa Billings, Kathy Fuqua and Martha Denny).
We also hope you will join us for our next BIG celebration on November 22nd—our delicious feast and time of thanksgiving for all God has done for us, and for where we believe He is leading us.
Dear NDI Alumni,
Hello to everyone! J.L. is presently in Africa (Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia), so I get to invade his space! We wanted to thank all of you who sent Christmas cards, letters and pictures. They brought us many smiles to see how nicely everyone is aging ...was that tactful enough? Soon, with the help of alumnus, Randy Durham, and his son, Caleb, you will be able to insert updated pictures and information on J.L.‘s blog.
Please begin now by registering on our Alumni Blog. Right now, we are going to begin by showing you the photos we received this year.