Highlights from the worship experience of Faith Lutheran Church’s traditional service.
Oh, I come from Alabama, with my banjo on my knee. I’m goin’ to Louisiana My true love for to see.
Oh! Susanna, now don’t you cry for me. For I come from Alabama, with my banjo on my knee.
It rained all night the day I left; The weather was so dry. The sun so hot I froze to death. Susanna don’t you cry. Oh! Susanna, now don’t you cry for me. For I come from Alabama, with my banjo on my knee.
I had a dream the other night When everything was still; I thought I saw Susanna, A-comin’ down the hill. Oh! Susanna, now don’t you cry for me. For I come from Alabama, with my banjo on my knee.
A buckwheat cake was in her mouth; A tear was in her eye. I said, “I come from Dixie Land; Susanna, don’t you cry!” Oh! Susanna, now don’t you cry for me. For I come from Alabama, with my banjo on my knee.
In 1846, Stephen Foster moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and became a bookkeeper with his brother’s steamship company. While in Cincinnati, Foster wrote “Oh! Susanna”, possibly for his men’s social club. The song was first performed by a local quintet at a concert in Andrews’ Eagle Ice Cream Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1847. It was first published by W. C. Peters & Co. in Cincinnati in 1848. Other minstrel troupes performed the work, and, as was common at the time, many registered the song for copyright under their own names. As a result, it was copyrighted and published at least 21 times from February 25, 1848, through February 14, 1851.[2
A year and half ago, Gabe Stewart stood in tribal court pleading guilty to felony charges because he stole money from his family to support his opioid addiction. In January, his community honored him for overcoming addiction and watched as his case was dismissed entirely.
Stewart is a member of the Penobscot Nation in Maine, a state hit hard by the opioid crisis. American indigenous communities like his are also some of the hardest hit, with overdose deaths for rural American Indians and Alaska Natives rising by 519 percent between 1999 and 2015, more than double the increase nationally.
When Stewart faced felony charges related to his addiction to Percocet, he was able to benefit from his tribe’s unique approach to addiction. Recognizing that issues with substance abuse in native communities often arise from intergenerational trauma, the Penobscot Nation attempts to reacquaint criminal drug offenders with tribal traditions and cultural practices to help them make a full recovery.
Tribal members who commit substance abuse-related crimes can enter a program called the Healing to Wellness Court, which operates something like a traditional drug court but offers a cultural curriculum.
VICE News followed Stewart on his last day in the Healing to Wellness Court.
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(22 Jul 2017) LEADIN:
Russian Old Believers, descendants of dissident Christians who split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th century, are preserving their traditions which date back to medieval times.
The bells call the faithful to church.
This is no an ordinary Sunday service, these are Russia’s Old Believers, sometimes also called ‘Old Ritualists’ who have come to Malinovsky skete (monastery) from all over the region to attend worship.
The Old Believers sect, which rejects many trappings of modern life, split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th century in protest at a number of reforms to Russian Orthodoxy.
Many of the changes were minor – the number of fingers used in the sign of the cross, the spelling of Jesus’ name, how many times “hallelujah” was said in prayer – but the Old Believers considered any change heretical and refused to go along.
Father Alexander, rector of the Malinovsky skete, says Russia was being infused with Western values, which Old Believers rejected.
“The separation of the church began in Russia. It was because they wanted to distance the country from the beliefs of their ancestors. The religion that was in Russia started to be uncomfortable for some, most likely, for Western Europe. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was raised under Western education and had Western teachers,” says Father Alexander.
Today there are estimated 1 to 2 million living Old Believers in Russia.
The Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated them and the czars persecuted them. Many left Russia or moved to the Siberian taiga (forest) where they could pass the old rites down to their children in peace.
But the Russian revolution forced many remaining Old Believers out for good when the Soviets tried to squash their religion and collective farms threatened their livelihood.
Father Alexander says Russian Orthodox Church and Old Believers have tolerable, but not yet friendly relations, because the pain of wrongdoings are still fresh in the memory of Old Believers.
“They came and made a mess in our place, our house and then they themselves forgave us for that. Well, now our relations (with Russian Orthodox church) are not bad, they are tolerable,” says Father Alexander.
Even though Malinovsky skete is hard to reach, people still come here from all over Nizny Novgorod region every weekend.
On a busy Sunday there would be dozens praying, but during weekdays the service would be attended by only one or two believers, as the skete is far from big cities.
Mother Tatyana, an Old Believer nun, needs help getting to the church due to her old age, but she is a strong believer and would not miss a Sunday service.
Tatyana still keeps up with all the ancient traditions, and carries her prayer beads with her wherever she goes.
“These prayer beads, this is a weapon against dark forces, against the devil. All monks walk with these in their possession. You pray with it during the service, at the dining table. Wherever you are it always has to be in your hands,” explains Mother Tatyana.
Father Alexander demonstrates the unique way which Old Believers make the sign of the cross, using two fingers, whilst Russian Orthodox faithful use three.
But not everyone is so lucky to have the health to travel so far to receive the blessing of an Old Believer priest.
For this reason, Father Alexander takes a few hours after the service to visit those elderly members of the congregation who cannot make the long journey.
Elderly parishioner Evgeniya greets him with a traditional song.
Father Alexander takes time to talk to all those needing his advice and to bless their homes before returning to the skete.
The life at the skete is simple – gardening, praying and taking care of church’s territory.
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Chaplain (LTC) Karen Diefendorf
Interview By THiNK International:
Jeff Walling, Senior Minister:
Jeff earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Irvine in speech and communications. His graduate work in religion was at Pepperdine University in Malibu.
Jeff lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, Cathryn. They have three sons.
He served churches in the southern California area for 20 years, first as a youth minister and then pulpit minister, preaching for the Mission Viejo Church of Christ for 13 years. Jeff became the senior minister for Providence Road in 1997.
Watch our entire 9:00 a.m. Rite II service from February 10, the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, here at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas.
Songs of Hope
Tatiana Golubeva and the Company
The Bolton Brothers continue in their excellent ways on their third project for Blackberry Records, this time moving beyond the bounds of Memphis into Atlanta.
Their decades of singing experience shine through on every note on this new project, titled Revival in Atlanta. There’s nothing real fancy here, and that’s a good thing. Because you shouldn’t fiddle with great traditional group singing.
The project is crammed with songs that lean on the tried and true themes of old, with encouragement, exhortation, anticipation and testimony all wrapped up in hearty vocals under the production guidance of The Williams Brothers.
Kicking things off is “Come & Go”, an apt introductory number for no other reason than four of the Boltons take their turn on lead. The songs motors on with rich and busy keyboard support till half way through, when key changes kick into heavy drive, relentless pushing the as heaven is described in wonder.
The Bolton BrothersVocal interplay is always excellent with The Bolton Brothers, with trading leads and some wonderful and sometimes wordless improvisations. On this CD, you can hear all of this on the slowly turning “I’m Going Through”, one of several songs that also features the New Hope Baptist Church Choir with overdub supplements from Jackson Mississippi’s EnPraise Singers. At just under eight minutes, it’s still too short.
On “To See Jesus”, brothers James and L.W. share the mic on the soft start, with falsetto entries and only touches of instrumentation behind them. To shouts of encouragement from the congregation, the song moves into the main melody which has some interesting and unexpected twists. The second half of this album jewel (the song is split into two tracks) brings in brother James as well as the renowned Bishop James Morton, who pastors the New Beginning Full Gospel Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, where the album was recorded.
The Bolton Brothers satisfy demand for no doubt traditional quartet singing several times, with songs such as “Let It Be Real” and “Bless The Name of Jesus”. Their interpretation of the familiar “Come By Here” is excellent.
“Oh How I Love You” is one of a couple of cuts that uses churchy sounding rhythms with non-traditional beats. Semi-contemporary chorus backing from choirs amidst wailing guitar from Undra Watts underlines the vocals as Minister Cedric King and James Bolton share lead.
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Traditional Latin Low Mass / Extraordinary Form for First Friday at Star of the Sea Church, San Francisco, California, USA. Celebrated by Fr. William Young on September 6, 2013.
Traditional Benin dance class in Seattle Washington.
African Culture connection in an organization that focuses on teaching and sharing the West African culture. Based in Omaha Nebraska, the corporation consist of professional dancers, drummers and teachers that teach children in schools the beauty and richness of Africa. For more information please go to
Jaime & Isela’s wedding reception was a true Fiesta! They and their guests had a ton of fun participating in traditional dances that you just don’t see at many weddings!
This beautiful Mexican wedding was steeped in tradition, with many symbols, including el lazo, or the lasso, that the couple wound around their shoulders to signify their union, the arras, 13 gold coins that the groom presents to the bride, the mariachi band and the many traditional dances during the reception. Joe and Angelica exchanged their vows, through teary eyes, within the walls of Angelica’s childhood church in Lovington, NM. The lively, reception was held at the Lea County Event center in Hobbs, where this expansive arena was transformed under a silky tent. Exquisite flowers were brought in from Mexico by the bride’s aunt and a second aunt of the brides made the gorgeous wedding cake. The unique way in which the bouquet and garter was tossed was something I had never seen before. It’s called La Vibora de la Mar. Joe and Angelica formed a bridge with ribbon for their guests to duck under and at the end of this traditional wedding song, the bride threw her bouquet and the groom the garter. Joe and Angelica, what an amazing couple the two of you are. We had a blast getting to know you guys and a wonderful time in Southern New Mexico!! You are such a sweet couple and we wish you all the best!!
Chantus Maximus at St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Church, Denton, TX – March 22, 2011
WHUMC Traditional Worship Service 11/25/2018
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Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke at the ninth World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City, Utah.