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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Winter/Spring, 2015 Highlights

Laurel with United Methodist Women of Latta, SC

It has been a busy year as I continue to serve our Lord here in Charleston, SC. 2015 began with a train trip a little further inland to the town of Latta, SC, where I presented on the topic of "The Church and People With Disabilities" for the Marion, SC district of United Methodist Women.

Top Dog opening ceremonies

Laurel and Audrey at Top Dog opening ceremonies

I got back to Charleston just in time to help with last-minute preparations for the 2015 Southeast Region Top Dog Workshop, held in Charleston from January 30 thru February 1. Over 150 guests, the majority being blind and having traveled to the convention independently with their guide dogs, came from all four corners of the continental United States. It was such a special weekend of Christian fellowship, delicious Lowcountry cuisine, informative workshops, helpful exhibits, lots of fun and fabulous furries. My honor and privilege was to serve as program chair, registrar, emcee and guest musician for this truly blessed event.

In February, I accepted the paid position of Interim Pianist for the congregation of Grace United Methodist Church, Charleston, SC. My term began on February 15 and ended on Easter Sunday April 5th. During these weeks, I worked together with the organist and music director Kim Harris, providing congregational music as well as special music. Additionally, I learned and memorized a large variety of music in order to be the piano accompanist for the children's choir, adult chancel choir and the Mass Choir of all ages presenting Good Friday's cantata.

After Easter, it was time to begin concentrating on recertification as a study leader for "The Church and People With Disabilities." There was much reading to be done and an online "webinar" to attend. There were essay questions to answer. Ironically, there were also battles to be fought when it became apparent that elements of the course itself were inaccessible to the blind study leaders who would be among those teaching it.

I had originally planned a trip to my home state of IL in May and had several engagements scheduled. A couple of days before I was scheduled to leave, I caught some sort of "crud" which caused me to lose my voice and made me extremely tired. After much thought and prayer, I made the decision to cancel/postpone my trip. Engagements have been rescheduled for July. Stay tuned to my Events page for more information.

Thanks for your ongoing prayers and support. God bless you and keep His Song in your heart.

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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!