Music By Laurel Jean

Music By Laurel Jean
Music with a Message and a Mission

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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Celebrating Ministry

Laurel, Rev. Thompson and Miss Anna Lee outside of Grace Church

Sunday, March 27, Grace United Methodist Church and Music By Laurel Jean were pleased to welcome Rev. Tarrell Thompson all the way from Owensville, Indiana to Grace’s Celebration Center in Charleston, SC for a presentation of “Who Cares…The Man Behind The Music.” I’m pictured here with Tarrell and our very dear friend, Anna Lee in front of Grace Church. Many were blessed as Tarrell shared his faith journey of sixty-four years in ministry, from his early days serving in a leper colony to his disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, and beyond! Rev. Tarrell is a long-time friend of Music By Laurel Jean and my outreach on behalf of the blindness community. Over the years of our working together, he has become an “adopted dad” to me.

The Amazing Grace Chancel Choir and musicians from the Grace Alive Praise Band joined me during worship. We really surprised Tarrell with new arrangements of my music inspired by his life and ministry, including the above-mentioned “Who Cares” from my Circuit Rider collection.

Rev. Thompson's cake

Members of Grace, officers of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, and even one of the young people from my Chaplaincy for Blind Youth gathered at the West Ashley Crab Shack after church, to continue this surprise celebration in honor of Rev. Tarrell and his ministry. We presented him with this cake, a creation of Grace’s resident cake decorator Bart Knapp. The cross and flame pictured on the cake is an image of one of Rev. Tarrell’s many handcrafted crosses and flames which he has donated to religious institutions around the country.

Laurel and Rev. Thompson with cake

My heartfelt thanks to the people of Grace Church, Dixie Land officers and other friends who helped to make this day so special!

Anna Lee, Laurel, Tarrell, Audrey and Jesse at Angel Oak

During Rev. Tarrell’s visit to Charleston, Audrey and her guide dog Jesse joined Tarrell, Anna Lee and me for several sightseeing outings. Here we all are at the beautiful Angel Oak tree, one of the Lowcountry’s many natural wonders.

Laurel and Tarrell at the ocean


Of course, in spite of uncooperative weather, we had to visit the ocean. Anna Lee snapped this picture of Tarrell and me walking together on the beach. I always feel very close to Father God when I am at the ocean, on the edge of one of God’s most magnificent creations. What a blessing, what a gift, to be there with one of our Lord’s very special shepherds.

Stay tuned for more posts like this one. Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart!

© 2011 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!