Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Thanksgiving 2012 at Ecclesia Hollywood

Ecclesia did its yearly pre-Thanksgivings participation in the CCCO's Shoes That Fit Day which provides shoes to children who live along Skid Row. Ecclesians donated supplies and "must haves" food (fruits, veggies, chips, cookies and juice boxes) for the one meal that's served to each needy family and they volunteered their time for the event. I had just had my second nerve block so I couldn't be there physically but I donated money/food and prayed for all involved especially Dion Ramos, who coordinates both our participation in CCCO and PATH.

The Keeping Church Weird sermon series wrapped up the Sunday after Thanksgiving after 8 weeks. Pastor Joseph included scriptual basis for the "weird" things we do like (1) why Christians Baptize (2) why we preach (3) why we take Communion (4) why we do charitable givings, tithes and offerings (5) why we sing praises to God and (6) why we pray, which involved a church-wide hand holding prayer session along with prayer from the prayer team along the sides of the church.  They also showed several personal video testimonies from Ecclesians about the power of prayer in our lives and the availability of the church's prayer team.

Also, Ecclesia's amazing and very Brittish Praise and Worship leader, Greg Jong and his band, Grand Vanity (including wife, Danielle) made a tremendous milestone! Pastor Joseph was very proud to announce that Grand Vanity's Praise album has finally became available for download under Enter Praise Band at I'd been praying for this album to be released as the songs are so impactful and a "must listen" for Christians everywhere but especially us in Hollywood. There have been many days that these praise songs were what got me out of bed on a real bad day so I'm very thankful that they're available.

My favs are "Christ Victorious" (joyous, triumphant!) and there's "Abide" (like an old English church hymn with a rock guitar edge) and "Faithfulness in Defeat" (sad yet hopeful song based on Psalms 88 & 89) and "Holy Spirit In Me" ( country gospel/stomp and praise style y'all) and "Make My Soul Aware"(my morning wake up praise song)and "Confession Song" (touchingly honest) and --- well the entire album really is a fav! Find it here

Greg gave his personal testimony during the "Why We Sing" sermon and then we viewed the music video of two songs .

Faithfulness in Defeat  

Make My Soul Aware  

These videos are extremely well done, too and made me think that the amazing, Mike Cioni, was somewhere in the mix of the making of them. Mike also plays violin with Ecclesia's Praise and Worship team and he's an all around prodfessional and nice guy. Speaking of Mike, check out some of his post-production work in the movie, Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren.

Also, check out Mike doing his CEO duties as he hosts HPA/Light Iron's Q&A and screening of Side By Side (my favorite doc of 2012) on 11/19 at the Arclight on Sunset.

Here's a pic of Mike with SBS's own Chris Kenneally, Keanu Reeves.

Update: The live performance video of Grand Vanity's "Faithfulness in Defeat" was actually filmed and edited by the equally amazing, musician and photographer, Daley Hake.

I see Hake at church every Sunday doing the sound checks for the Praise band and production work etc. and he seems to be a pretty "down to earth" guy. See more of Hake's work at .
Art Exhibit:
Ecclesia started another art exhibit this Advent season with the same theme of the Anticipation sermon series and it's called Still We Wait. I submitted a a dark yet colorful piece of of art in a technique I learned in high school called scratch art. I did it by covering the entire paper in random oil pastels and crayola wax crayons colors then covering that work over with black pastel/crayon and then by scraping off or etching out the design resulting in a picture of a woman with a wistful, hopeful look on her face and a head of very unruly curly hair. As if from her hopeful thoughts, I depicted a cross and rays coming from her head like the sun breaking through the clouds of fear and doubt for the dawn of a beautiful new day. 

I called it "Hope on a Bad Hair Day" and I'm very pleased with it.  "Bad Hair Day" was not selected but it is my first foray into doing colorful, whimsical pieces so I'm stoked. I scanned and modified it with the computer to enhance different colors and hues then I played each new image as a slide show movie with Matt Yoeman and Dennis Davidson's  devotional piece playing/spoken in the background. I plan to video it all and use it as an interactive art submission in the future so look for a post of it soon.

The Wrap Up:
What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I'm very thankful for Ecclesia church and the wonderful and creative people who attend!

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