Music By Laurel Jean

Music By Laurel Jean
Music with a Message and a Mission

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Laurel Jean's Scrapbook

Sharing God's Guiding Glimpses into my Life of Music and Ministry

Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas, 2010 Music and Ministry

Christmas, 20-10 proved to be a season of Music, Ministry and Community Outreach that I will always remember. It all began with Laurel Jean in Concert Ministry at Grace United Methodist Church, Charleston, SC. Thanks to all the folks of Grace who promoted this concert to the Charleston community, and to all who brought a friend to enjoy the afternoon program.

Laurel presents for 2010 Holidy Party, Charleston Association for the Blind

Here I am presenting for the annual Holiday Party of the Charleston Association for the Blind. This was my second year of serving as Emcee and providing dinner music for the over two hundred guests in attendance. “Paws” in appreciation of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users who sponsored Music By Laurel Jean for this event.

Laurel with long-time friend, Rev. Thompson

The next day, I was winging my way to southern Indiana. Here I am with my long-time friend, fellow servant of God, and “foster dad” Rev. Tarrell Thompson as we worked together in a musical outreach effort to his home community of Owensville, IN. My thanks to the folks at Transcendent Healthcare of Owensville for making me feel so welcome during my visit there, and for their ongoing care of Tarrell’s wife, my adopted “Mama Lena” in her advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

From Indiana, I was off to my home state of Illinois. In spite of a shortened stay due to weather-related travel delays, God made possible many opportunities to share in Ministry and Music. My thanks to Rev. Ken Roedder (another longtime friend and fellow-servant of God), as well as the folks of Tuscola Healthcare Center (for the care of “Rev’s” wife, Maxine in her advanced stages of Alzheimer’s). Thanks also to Pastor Lynette and Mary for ministering to me during our time of fellowship and prayer.

Laurel with the people of Woburn Church of Christ


Before heading back to South Carolina, I was honored to present a Christmas concert for the folks at Woburn Church of Christ, Woburn, IL. Here I am with Pastor and Mrs. Max Whited (left), and Pastor and Mrs. Don Schmollinger (right). I am blessed to have worked in ministry with Pastor Max and his wife, Norma over many years. It was truly an honor for me to return to the Woburn Church and I look forward to going back again, soon!

The year 2010 is drawing to a close, with Special Music at Grace Church, time spent with good friends (and my precious dog, Zettie), and planning sessions for upcoming events in 2011. Please join me in keeping that Christmas Light shining as we enter the New Year!

Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart.

© 2010 by Laurel Jean Walden

Fall, 2010 Music and Ministry

Shelby sings National Anthem for White Cane Day, 2010

Shelby, a Lowcountry blind youth and part of my Chaplaincy, sings the "National Anthem" to kick off Charleston, South Carolina’s 2010 White Cane Day Celebration. We in the blindness community take a lot of pride in White Cane Safety Awareness Day, October 15. It is a time to celebrate the independence afforded us by the long, white cane, and to bring awareness to the sighted community. The Honor Guard, the National Anthem, and the flag (with stars and stripes which can be actually touched) remind us of the unmatched independence that we, both blind and sighted, share as American citizens.

Laurel  Jean with vision teacher, Kathy Ouzts

I was honored to serve as Emcee for the second year in a row, for this special event. Here I am on the stage at Francis Marion Square, with Kathy Ouzts, a vision teacher who serves actively as a sighted member of the American Council of the Blind. My thanks to the Charleston ACB, and especially to the folks of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users (who sponsored me for this event).

White Cane Day Procession

Prior to the official White Cane Day ceremony, God’s outa sight kids of all ages formed a procession from the Visitors Center to Francis Marion Square. The drum Corps of West Ashley High School led the way, making it very easy for everyone to follow the route.

Laurel playing backwards for children's time at Seymour First UMC

From Charleston, SC, I was off to Southern Indiana. Here I am having a fun time with the children of the First United Methodist Church, Seymour, IN, where I presented for Morning Worship. Thanks, Pastor Steve and Congregation, for making Music By Laurel Jean part of the Fall, 2010 schedule.

Laurel Jean with Rev. Tarrell Thompson and mutual friend, Anna Lee

The trip to Seymour First UMC brought a happy reunion with a long-time friend and fellow servant of God, Rev. Tarrell Thompson. Here we are together with our very dear, mutual friend, Miss Anna Lee. I am honored to count Rev. Thompson as a “foster dad”, among those who have most richly blessed and shaped the life of music and ministry which God has given me. Music inspired by him and his wife Lena can be found on my Family Album, Circuit Rider, and Christmas Gifts CD’s.

Laurel presents for Peoria Rescue Ministries Annual Banquet

On to Peoria, IL and the annual banquet of Peoria Rescue Ministries! What an honor to be this year’s featured Guest Musician! My thanks to driver and friend, Carolyn, for all of her help in making this event a success.

Laurel Jean presents for Pink Sunday at Grace UMC


Back in Charleston, here I am presenting for “Pink Sunday” at Grace United Methodist Church, promoting breast cancer awareness. We honored survivors and caregivers alike, and took time to remember those who have lost their lives to this disease. This really hit home for me. My maternal grandmother, Garnet Mansfield, was a breast cancer survivor, and her mother, Bessie Walker, lost her life to the disease. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting regular cancer screenings.

Stay well, everyone!

Until next time, God bless you, and keep His Song in your heart!

©2010 by Laurel Jean Walden

A Little About Me

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God continues to bless me with a busy and fulfilling life. Even after thirty-plus years, my music and ministry keep going and growing. Blind from birth, I am n avid user of Braille and the long, white cane, in addition to a variety of mainstream and access technology. While my blindness does not define me, I consider it to be a unique gift from God. With this gift comes my opportunity to serve as an advocate on behalf of my fellow members of the Blindness community, living and serving among blind and sighted folks of all ages, on all walks of life. To learn more about my music, ministry and outreach, please visit my Web site, and be sure to stay tuned to my Blog!