Spire, The Beacon on the Seine

Spire
The Beacon on the Seine

Editor: Alison Benney

In this issue
Grace notes, by Interim Senior Pastor Odette Lockwood-Stewart
A Future with a Hope, by Interim Associate Pastors Doug and Jodi Fondell
The Call by David Van Cleve
Read this for an update on ACP’s finances!
Earth Day 2021: Planting a tree, by Rose Marie Burke
A new forest for the roof of Notre-Dame, by Rebecca Brite
Caste: Book Discussion Group, review by Yvonne Hazelton
Wedding Blessings: ACP offer, by Jörg Kaldewey, Wedding Coordinator
What’s up in Paris, by Karen Albrecht
ACP announcements


Grace notes, by Interim Senior Pastor Odette Lockwood-Stewart

Welcome to the month of May at the American Church in Paris! This month we celebrate Gospel Welcome in a world of difference. As Paris begins to reopen, we reopen to the power and presence of new life in Christ Jesus in community.

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you,

for the glory of God.

Romans 15:7

The words in Scripture that are translated welcome imply mutual relationship, acceptance, receiving one another. Again and again in Scripture, host and guest exchange roles. Every day, welcoming is an act of worship to the glory of God.

Here are just some of the ways we gather to grow in faith and reach out in love.

On 2 and 9 May, ACP is holding a series of open conversations on the church Council’s Affirmation of Welcome and Inclusion at ACP. This is just the beginning of a journey of conversations ‒ listening, learning, and growing in the reliability of our witness to the radical love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. This is beginning for the whole congregation after two years of prayerful study and discernment by our Council.

On 5 May, John’s Letter of Hope to the Seven Churches of Revelation, an eight-week powerful Bible study with Pastors Doug and Jodi, begins. More information is available in this edition of the Spire!

On 9 May, ACP is blessed to welcome the Rev. Grace Imathiu as guest preacher. Rev. Imathiu will be preaching from Kenya, where she is visiting her parents who contracted the Covid virus. Rev. Imathiu is Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Evanston, Illinois. She has served churches in Kenya as a church planter; a superintendent minister overseeing 68 rural churches in Nkubu; and an urban minister to an ecumenical congregation in Nairobi with strong outreach to the neighboring slums of Kawangware.

Grace loves people and has a passion and gift for inspiring and nurturing communities of faith to live out loud the prophetic story of Jesus. For Grace, the quintessential expression of the resurrected Lord’s presence is a community whose very DNA is a radical hospitality which births a loving and a healthy tension that is ideological, theological, racial, ethnic, and cultural.

On 9 May we launch a new 5-week 10-minute online Devotion, “Called!” with ACP’s Contemporary Worship Team and Musicians. Find it on our website, share it on social media.

On 23 May, we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday in our Sanctuary! Come, Holy Spirit! Renew the Whole Creation! ACP’s Filipino Fellowship and Director of Music Fred Gramann will transform our sanctuary with color and beauty as an invitation to welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit’s wind and fire and understanding. We will receive and welcome new members on the day we celebrate the birth of the Christian Church!

Beginning 23 May, 11h traditional worship will also be live-streamed weekly from our sanctuary and 14h contemporary worship returns to our sanctuary!

On 30 May at 16h, ACP will gather for a Congregational Meeting to receive and vote on the recommendation of the Senior Pastor Search Committee and to receive and vote on the 2021-2022 Church Council slate from ACP’s Nominating Committee.

Jesus Christ is God’s welcome. As the Body of Christ we are called to welcome all God’s children, confident in God’s ever unexpected presence, in advocacy for the marginalized; and in creation of community.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2.

Grace and peace of Christ be with you.

Pastor Odette

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A Future with a Hope, by Interim Associate Pastors Doug and Jodi Fondell

John's Letter of Hope to the Seven Churches of Revelation

Each Wednesday from 5 May to 23 June

19h30-21h00 via Zoom

As Christians, we have a tendency to view Scripture through the lens of our own cultural and personal life experiences. It often happens subconsciously, as we read the pages of the text. Yet, when we're given the opportunity to see, hear, and interact with the text as the original listeners would have done, “Aha” perspectives emerge, and our appreciation for the text/what it means for our lives today, has a way of deepening our devotion to God. We see and hear God's word for us today with new eyes and new ears!

Join us as we embark on a new learning experience focused on John's Letter of Hope to the Seven Churches of Revelation. We will explore the text, looking at relevant historical and cultural concerns, examining the meaning of some aspects of the original Greek, discerning the meaning of symbols and metaphors that can often be puzzling. We'll learn why a natural spring that flowed from Hierapolis to Laodicea had everything to do with a church that had grown indifferent, lazy, or “lukewarm” in their witness to the Gospel. And we'll contemplate and wrestle with its application to our lives as Christians today.

The word Jesus gave to the churches while John was imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos is a word that speaks as relevantly today as it did back in 69 or 95 A.D. (we will discuss the dating of the book). It addresses a people who are struggling to live out their faith in Christ while they simultaneously feel beaten up by the world, the systems, and the cultures that surround them. It's a word that invites us to face our fears and anxieties, a word that brings comfort and challenge even in the midst of significant hardship and uncertainty. It's a word that would be good for us all to hear as we seek to engage and deepen our faith in Christ in the year 2021.

Each Wednesday evening we will lead the group in a relaxed 45-minute presentation of the text that allows time for questions and answers along the way.

Then, in 25-minute breakout groups we will dive a bit deeper, to discuss the content of the study and apply it to our lives today.

At the end of our evening, we will gather back together for some final thoughts and reflections on our time together.

The outline for our study of Revelation chapters 1-3 is as follows:

5 May             An Introduction to John's Letter

12 May           Our First Love: The Letter to Ephesus  

19 May           The Comforted Church: The Letter to Smyrna

26 May           The Conflicted Church: The Letter to Pergamum

2 June            The Compromised Church: The Letter to Thyatira

9 June            The Complacent Church: The Letter to Sardis

16 June          The Expectant Church: The Letter to Philadelphia

23 June          The Challenged Church: The Letter to Laodicea

To register for this adult learning experience and to receive the Zoom link,
go to our website acparis.org and click on Adult Learning at ACP.

It's been a challenging year for us all, and yet there have been surprising joys, blessings, and comforts throughout. Surely, one of our greatest joys has been the opportunity to get to know one another via Zoom ‒ to share thoughts, ideas, reflections as they relate to scripture and our life together, only to realize that God has found a way to keep us connected and abiding in the hope that is only Christ's to give. If you haven't yet joined the Wednesday Evening journey, please know it's never too late. You are more than welcome!

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The Call

The process of discernment by the Search Committee for Senior Pastor

by David Van Cleve

Dear ACP congregation and family,

 We want to provide you with an update on our activities with the Senior Pastor Search Committee as our efforts have been picking up steam, and ask for your prayers and discernment as we move forward with a likely recommendation to the ACP Council and you in the coming weeks.

First and foremost, however, we should say ‒ thank you. Yes, it's a tremendous amount of work, and we're deeply aware of your support and the confidence you've placed in us. It has been an intense and beautiful experience (even Zoom meetings can be intense and beautiful!) and we are all the clearer on what an amazing God we serve and an astonishing church that is part of his plan for us, individually and together, as a community. 

Last fall our Search Team worked diligently on ACP's Congregational Profile ‒ a thumbnail sketch of who we are as a church ‒ and the job description for our Senior Pastor candidates. Moreover, we began an involved process in how to approach our search task, notably during a global pandemic that would require flexibility and creativity. As the months have drawn on, we benefited from that early work, since our efforts have necessarily been virtual and not face-to-face. 

As you may recall, ​back in October, we explained that our efforts have been complemented fully by fruitful collaboration with the AFCU's Search Team, led by Don Eppert. Their team, as the "mother organization" that actually employees our Senior Pastor, vetted 75 candidates who put their names forward to lead ACP. From that initial group, 23 candidates were examined more closely. These included both men and women from seven different denominations. The AFCU narrowed their search to five finalists, and again tackled an enormous task of interviewing, vetting, and due diligence. And after prayerful consideration, they sent two candidates to our team on the ACP Search team to consider. 

Yes, just two, but ‒ wow ‒ what a pair. The AFCU explained that these two finalists were far and away the best possible choices for our further consideration. And, after reviewing their materials, reading and hearing dozens of sermons, virtual visits to their current churches, and intensive interviews, we must agree. We would be blessed by either of these candidates.

We hope to reach our choice together after further interviews, prayers, due diligence, and discernment. And from there we hope and plan to report our selection back to the AFCU, to Council, and to you, our congregation. We are also discussing how to introduce the candidate to our ACP family virtually. If all works smoothly, we will ask for a congregational vote to call our new pastor at our upcoming congregational meeting on Sunday, 30 May. 

 Please plan to join us then, and please keep us in your prayers as we move through our search.

 ACP's Senior Pastor Search Team: Marie Grout & MaryClaire King (co-chairs), Rose Burke, Peter DeWit, Chris Kramme, Valentina Lana, Gigi Oyog, Tiana Ranaivoson, Solomon Sholesi, David Van Cleve, Christopher Wobo

 AFCU's Search Committee Team: Don Eppert (chair), Tina Blair, Jerry Burns, Lynda DeLuryea, Gregg Foster, Jane Kendall, David Moore, Jon Voskuill, Betty Ziemann

 

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The Call

Thank you to everyone who attended the online Congregational Meeting on 11 April. We know it is a bit challenging to review so much material presented on Zoom, but we are grateful for your questions during the meeting, and we encourage you to reach out if you have more. The Finance Stewardship and Development Committee (FS&D) wants to make sure you understand the ACP finances – where income comes from and where the money is spent, so if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2020 Results

Thank you for your generosity – giving was 6% higher than 2019! Thanks to your support through giving, the staff’s overall disciplined spending, and our resilience to adapt to new circumstances, we were able to fund missions and ministries and be there for our Congregation and community in new and reliable ways. Wedding and rental revenues declined €429K and €160K from 2019, but the team showed agility to cut costs, pivot to online worship and program sand utilize the French government chômage partiel program. Overall, we anticipate a 2020 loss of approximately €158K compared to a budgeted loss of €366K. The final loss is still subject to audit and we expect to present the audited amounts in the next Congregational meeting.

2021 Budget

Thank you for your unanimous approval of the 2021 budget ‒ For the 2021 budget, we discussed that the length and depth of the impacts of Covid 19 continue to create uncertainty in 2021. In that context, the budget has at its core our ACP’s Mission and we have made our best estimate of the budget to accomplish our mission. Our overall hypothesis for 2021 is that the current environment will continue through July 2021, then gradually pick up to September, and for the rest of the year, the environment will be back to pre-Covid levels. Our 2021 ACP budget/financial challenges are:

  • Keep the Church strong! through this pandemic period so we are here for you, the Congregation, and our community and can continue to live out the ACP Mission;
  • Stay agile! Adjust our actions in response to change;
  • Invest in the Missions and Ministry;
  • Invest in our AMAZING facilities through which we reach the congregation and community – all of God’s people!

The graphs below show the sources of income in 2021 and the major categories of expenses. Our overall estimated loss is approximately €122K.


So how do we continue to invest in our ACP mission and facilities?

None of us can control wedding and rental revenues – for that all we can do is our part to stay healthy and safe, observe the ACP guidance such as for physical distancing and masks and trust in the Lord!

We will however continue the principles we adopted in March 2020, including:

  • Take care of our employees
  • Take advantage of every possible government relief
  • Continue extreme prudence in spending

In 2020 we applied for and received €265K from the French government COVID lending program. In 2021, we will likely extend the repayment terms of this borrowing so that we have the cash to face of the uncertainty of Covid 19 and the timing of full reopening and the return of wedding and rental income to “normal”.

With respect to your generosity of time, talent and treasure, we were recently reminded that “it is not what Jesus wants from us – it is what He wants for us! To the extent God has been generous to you financially, we hope that you can be generous to enable the ACP to deliver hope to the many that pass through our doors and join us on line.

For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

On behalf of the FS&D committee - Thank You!!

 

 

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Earth Day 2021: Planting a tree, by Rose Marie Burke

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
Genesis 1: 26-28, The Message Bible

In April 1973, to mark the third annual Earth Day, my 13-year-old self planted a tree in front of our inner-city US middle school, St. Canice. Two teachers, eyeballs rolling and audibly sighing, accompanied me outside. Students watched from their classroom windows. It was over in about 10 minutes. “Ecology” was trendy, along with maxi skirts and long hair for girls as well as boys.

Nearly 50 years later, where are we? Ecology is no longer a fad, it’s a science. Humans are ruining the planet, causing climate change. The sea level is rising, glaciers are melting, species are falling into extinction. We have been irresponsible stewards of God’s creation.

As Earth Day approaches, on 22 April, what can we do as individuals and a church? Locked down for the most part and discouraged to mobilize, our scope of action is limited. Could we plant a tree in some way? We could learn, feel, and do. Learn about the theology of creation. Feel the pain of vulnerable people who work in dumps or cannot escape the climate destruction of their homes. Do much more.

As an individual, I’m trying to take bolder steps. I stopped buying clothes after reading a book about the toxic fashion industry, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes, by Paris-based author Dana Thomas. “Any more than you need is greed,” is what I remember the conservationist Jane Goodall saying in an appearance at ACP in May 2014.

Beyond clothes, I’m trying to refrain from “impulse” purchases. We needed a living-room rug, so I went online to my favorite big box store. But wait a moment, I said to myself, isn’t there a greener choice? I ended up purchasing a 100% wool rug from a company that is working with suppliers (in this case Turkey) to ensure care of workers and climate.

And I joined our neighborhood composting group, where I am both getting to know my neighbors and reducing what goes into the garbage and the incinerator. It adds up! One group of 30 participants means about one ton less garbage a year, according to l’Agence Parisienne du Climat. (To find a local group, search on the Internet for “composter” and your town or arrondissement.)

What will you do this year for Earth Day? Why don’t we examine our reflexes and instead flex for the planet? Perhaps think, feel, and do differently. Why not make a pledge for Earth Day?

My ACP Earth Day Pledge

On 22 April 2021, I pledge to pray, learn, or do something to learn about the Earth, creation, or climate change. Here are some ideas:

Beyond Earth Day, ACP is planning to celebrate its first Climate Sunday in November, along with other faith congregations in Paris and Europe. This will take place while the next United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) meets in Glasgow, Scotland, from 1-12 November. Here’s something else you can do: Join the ACP committee planning a Climate Sunday service in November. Send us an email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nearly 50 years later, where is that tree I planted? It stood there for at least 25 years. Today it is gone. The small patch of green where the tree stood was remodeled to become a drive-up accessible entrance to a community center. I’m not upset, however. The building now offers free preschool to children in need and houses the headquarters of the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center.

More than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. If we “plant a tree” here at the American Church of Paris, what could we make happen?

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A new forest for the roof of Notre-Dame, by Rebecca Brite

Hoardings around the Notre Dame work site bear French students’ renderings of the great fire of 15 April 2019. Photo: Hal Halvorsen, a member of the ACP adult choir, in March.

All around France, local foresters have spent the past several weeks cutting down 100- to 200-year-old oaks to send to Paris for the rebuilding of Notre-Dame cathedral, badly damaged two years ago this month in a huge fire.

The conflagration ripped the heart out of one of the country’s most beloved monuments. In March, local and regional news outlets reported with pride on the felling of nearly every individual tree out of the 1,200 or so that will eventually form the structure of the rebuilt roof and spire, whose original framework contained so many oak beams that it was nicknamed “the forest.”

Five tall oaks came from the Horte forest in the Charente department, two from the park of a château near Vitré in Brittany. The Loir-et-Cher department contributed 37 in all. Often priests blessed the trees before they were cut.

About half the oaks came from public land and half were found on private property, in a search that began early this year. The final tree cut, on 19 March, was on the state-owned Château de Chambord estate in the Loire Valley. Foresters had determined that all the oaks destined for Notre Dame had to be cut by mid- to late March, before the sap rose and made them harder to fell.

Particularly straight oaks of this age would be worth a lot on the open market – Reuters news service, reporting from the public Bercé forest near Le Mans, said each trunk would fetch some €15,000. But the privately owned trees are being donated to the rebuilding effort.

The trunks must age and dry for a year to 18 months before they can even be cut into beams. President Emmanuel Macron has long stood by his vow to have the Notre Dame restoration project completed by 2024, in time for the Paris Olympics. But officials have said in recent weeks that while the roof may be finished by then, the complete restoration will take perhaps a year longer.

Using oaks from across France was a symbolic choice and not without controversy. While most of the trees are in managed forests, including some that used to provide ship masts to the French Navy, Ecological Transition Minister Barbara Pompili complained that often the oaks chosen formed a crucial part of their forests’ ecosystem.

She launched a petition, which drew more than 40,000 signatures, in which she noted that this new “forest” of Notre Dame will be hidden away, between the restored stone vaults of the ceiling and the rebuilt cathedral roof, “visible only by a few privileged people.”

But Philippe Villeneuve, chief architect of historical monuments, noted that the modern engineering solutions Ms Pompili had suggested would lack not only oak’s authenticity but also its durability and plasticity.

A large number of the newly felled trees will make up the supports and framework of the spire. It was decided only last summer that, rather than choose any of the modernist, often fanciful proposals for ornamenting the cathedral roof, the restoration project would replicate the 19th-century spire installed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, architect in charge of the last extensive restoration of the cathedral, which lasted a quarter of a century.

His spire was the cathedral’s second. Both were timber framed. The first, dating from the 13th century, was in such rickety shape by the late 18th century that it had to be dismantled.

Its replacement, begun by Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and finished, after his death in 1857, by Viollet-le-Duc, was an altogether sturdier, grander, taller structure. Its framework of oak from Champagne weighed some 500 tonnes, and it was covered with half again that weight in lead. While the earlier spire had reached 78 meters above the cathedral floor, the second one stretched to 96 meters.

Its base featured copper statues of the 12 apostles, which happily had all been taken down for work at the time of the great fire on 15 April 2019. When the spire is rebuilt, they will stand again in four rows of three each, looking out over the city of Paris – except for St Thomas, modeled on Viollet-le-Duc himself. Craning his neck and shading his eyes with one hand, Thomas, patron saint of architects, instead looks up at the spire.

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Caste: Book Discussion Group, review by Yvonne Hazelton

If we want to understand the nuances of the societal malady of racism and do something about it, it helps to go deeper. That’s what we are trying to do in the Caste book discussion group.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson, argues that caste, not racism, is the root of the problem. Drawing comparisons to India and Nazi Germany, she explores the ways societies force certain groups of people into roles and how that plays out in the United States today. Caste is the skeleton, she writes, and racism is the meat that hangs on it.

Kate Snipes, the group’s facilitator, brought in two professors to give us their perspectives on the topic. During the first session, Dr. Asa Lee, a Dean at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., talked to us about his experiences and how the book can open our eyes to racism around us or within us. In the second session, Dr. Sathi Clarke, a professor of theology at Wesley, spoke about the caste system in India and its basis in the Hindu religion. Following the lectures, we split up into breakout rooms and discussed the book and lecture.

The breakout rooms I attended were fascinating. Everyone was given a chance to share their own experience, voice questions, make comments, or respond to Kate’s stated questions. The discussions were lively. One of our church members from Nigeria talked about the tribal differences in Nigeria which create caste-like tiers there. Several older Americans talked about how they came from communities where racism was just a part of life, and how they are beginning to realize how invisible that racism has been to them.

Some people had left their churches because of its racism, and some had family or friends who stay in those churches. We talked about how to love people that we disagree with, or how to take a step back. I saw people listening patiently to each other, disagreeing with respect, and learning how to work together to heal our society of this ill.

As for me, I was born in Texas in the 1960s. The racism that I saw was not the tiki-torch, KKK racism that most of us abhor. The racism that I saw consisted of sly racial jokes, of skewed crime statistics blaming minorities for society’s problems, of paying migrant workers a pittance. This racism disapproved of dating anyone who was not white, and made fun of people with accents. It approved of my Black classmates only when they made a touchdown and marveled when they made the Honor Roll. I didn’t realize the South had lost the Civil War until I got to high school ‒ I knew there had been some sort of setback, but we were sure the South would rise again.

In order to combat the casual racism that I absorbed, that I sometimes don’t even recognize, I have to educate myself. Reading Caste, listening to the lectures, and participating in the discussions has given me tools to identify stumbling blocks in my own perspective, and hopefully to stop perpetuating the oppression that goes on today.

The final session of the book discussion group will be devoted to exploring the concept of caste, and examining how our understanding of caste can help us start to remedy the evil that is racism in the United States. Because we are an international church, though, we are not limited to the US. We can take the information we’ve discussed in the book group to all four corners of the earth.

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Wedding Blessings: ACP offer, by Jörg Kaldewey, Wedding Coordinator

Help us spread the good news!

Yes, the pandemic still casts a shadow and sets limits. 

Nevertheless, the Wedding Blessing Ministry of the American Church in Paris is finding new ways to begin again – with online ceremonies from the Sanctuary of the American Church on Zoom, and in-person ceremonies in our Sanctuary.

As we approach one year of life in Christian community in the midst of a pandemic, and as the Wedding Blessing Ministry resumes, we are offering to members of ACP the opportunity to renew your marriage vows live from the ACP sanctuary on Zoom, as the church’s free gift during the months of March and April 2021.

Alternatively, if you reside in Paris or are able to travel here, we will also be happy to extend this offer to you in person and live in the Sanctuary, with a limit of 6 people attending (the couple plus four others).

The online package includes:

  • The beautiful Sanctuary of the American Church in Paris is reserved as the setting for your ceremony for one hour
  • Ceremony officiated by the Reverend Jim Lockwood-Stewart
  • Personalized ceremonial program
  • Live organ music played by our own Music Director, Fred Gramann
  • Altar & pew silk flower decor
  • Wedding Blessing certificate issued by the American Church in Paris and mailed to you
  • Registration of your ceremony in the church’s permanent wedding register
  • Recording of the ceremony
  • Rehearsal and/or pre-marital consultation with the pastor prior to your ceremony

 For more information about this opportunity, as well as our other wedding blessing ceremonies at ACP, in the Sanctuary or online, contact me, Jörg Kaldewey, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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What’s up in Paris, by Karen Albrecht

With a fresh lockdown in place through mid-April, it's unclear just when Paris's cultural life will return to anything like normal. Amidst all the doors slamming shut, staying open to new ideas and experiences is trickier ‒ but more crucial ‒ than ever. The situation is evolving constantly, so check online for the latest details.


Photo: © Laurent Sallard

Just open the box

Longing to take in a real, live show? For as long as cultural venues remain closed, the temporary TV station "Culturebox" will be boxing up top concerts, plays and comedy acts, all filmed live, and delivering them right to your living room, free of charge. This spring, be on the lookout for the superb "Maya, une Voix," an original musical that brilliantly brings to life the story of African-American icon Maya Angelou. A little girl loses the power of speech after suffering unspeakable trauma, then finds a new and powerfully eloquent voice through literature, poetry, and music.

Channel 19. For program schedule or to watch on-demand: culturebox.fr

https://www.france.tv/spectacles-et-culture/emissions-culturelles/culturebox-l-emission/)

 

 


Photo: © Inka et Niclas

Eye-opening images

Innovative arts venue Le Centquatre has taken to non-traditional media to get its annual "Circulation(s)" photography show into the public eye in spite of the lockdown. The festival website presents the portfolios of 30-some young European artists, brimming with eye-popping images that are in turn cryptic and in-your-face, downright disturbing, and delightfully humorous. Online discussions take place every Wednesday at 18h, a new "playlist" goes live every Thursday at 21h, and a Wednesday-morning video activity caters to 5- to 12-year-olds. For those less digitally inclined, the "hors les murs" extension has works on display in 13 major Métro and RER stations through end May.

Until 2 May, www.festival-circulations.com/edition/edition-2021/


Photo: © Ville de Paris - COARC \ Claire Pignol

Sanctuary city

Why not transform your daily constitutional into an artistic and spiritual exercise, as well as a physical one? The city's many historic churches, whose doors are expected to remain open despite covid restrictions, contain artistic treasures rivalling those currently locked behind the doors of museums. Works on display range from Renaissance masters to Keith Haring. The paris.fr website has put together two themed walks; if these don't fall within your allowed 10km radius, there's a good chance that churches nearer you harbor artistic treasures of their own.

https://quefaire.paris.fr/114731/chefs-d-uvre-des-eglises-parisiennes-les-tableaux  

https://quefaire.paris.fr/114770/les-plus-belles-sculptures-des-eglises-parisiennes  

More ideas at: www.artculturefoi-paris.fr


An open book

The American Library in Paris, established just over a century ago, is rising to the challenges of the current situation with an array of 21st-century tools to keep English-speakers connected to the joy of reading. The Library’s doors are remaining open, with some restrictions. Members and day-pass holders can also tap into a multitude of "E-Sources," while "click-and-collect" curbside lending ensures safe access to the library's rich collection of print works. The lively "Evenings with an Author” series (now held on Zoom and archived on the Library’s website), online story hours, book groups, and writing workshops all open the doors of the imagination to readers of all ages.

https://americanlibraryinparis.org


Photo: © Paris Tourist Office - Amélie Dupont

Open-air opulence

Purveyors of basic necessities remain open, including the city's colorful open-air food markets, which set up camp two or three mornings a week in various neighborhoods across town. Not just a source of quality produce, Paris street markets are entertainment in and of themselves. So mask up, and take in the glorious fruits and vegetables, glistening fish arrayed on seas of chipped ice, and stands packed with hundreds of France's fragrant and famously ungovernable cheeses, all set to a soundtrack of live commentary from vendors that often verges on performance art.

Days and times at: https://en.parisinfo.com/shopping/gastronomic-shopping-in-paris/food-and-specialist-markets


An open lens onto the world

Documentary cinema has long been gathering momentum as a creative movement, a window onto unknown realms, and a driver of social change; even a global pandemic can't shut down that kind of energy. The "DocXchange" Collective links to documentary film exhibitors around the world, giving easy access to festivals, workshops, and cutting-edge documentary films to rent online. Members include Toronto's Hot Docs cinema, London's Bertha Dochouse, La Compagnia in Florence, New York's Maysles Center and the Documentary Film Center in Moscow, each offering a distinct camera angle on the world. You provide the popcorn, they've got the rest.

www.docxchange.org

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ACP announcements

Gospel Welcome! Sunday 9 May from 12h-13h on Zoom. You are invited to participate in open conversations on Welcome and Inclusion at the American Church in Paris. This is an opportunity for small group conversations led by pastors on the ACP Council’s Affirmation of Welcome and Inclusion. This is just the beginning of a journey of listening, learning, and growing our witness to the love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ.   If you would like the Zoom link, please register at: acparis.org/worship-fellowship.

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Women's Monthly Bible Study on 30 May at 13h30-14h30 via Zoom. All women are welcome to join this study on Women of the Old Testament, led by Teri Lee Valluy. Register at acparis.org/women-sunday.

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Kids’ Monthly Bible Study on 30 May at 12h45 via Zoom. This online monthly Bible study is for all children seven and older. We will spend the year studying the Lord’s Prayer. Please contact Rev. Allison Wheeler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, and/or register at acparis.org.

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ACP Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting on 30 May to be held after Sunday services at 16h00 via Zoom. The Council of the American Church in Paris requests the presence of all voting members of the ACP – and welcomes all congregants – to attend the semi-annual congregational meeting via Zoom video conference. Among other agenda items, we will vote to approve the 2021-2022 proposed Council slate, and vote to call the incoming Senior Pastor recommended by the ACP Senior Pastor Search Committee. The meeting link, instructions, and meeting documents will be sent via email in due course. Mark your calendars today!

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ACP monthly movie discussion group

Thursday, 20 May, 19h30 via Zoom

Films to see on Netflix ahead of the meeting:

  • Concrete Cowboy
  • Pieces of a Woman
  • Pagglait
  • The Clockmaker (L'Horloger de Saint-Paul)

For more information, or to receive the Zoom link, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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ACP Today, upcoming in May

Monday 3 May, 20h45: Jorg Kaldewey and Kate Snipes co-host this show, with the theme of centering prayer. Father Tom Dawson from Ireland speaks about his ministry of centering prayer, and we play a recording in memory of Thomas Keating, a leader of contemplative prayer.

Monday 17 May, 20h45: Alison Benney co-hosts with Pastor Odette Lockwood-Stewart. They discuss Pentecost, talk about the Welcome/Inclusion Committee work, and get the latest news from the Senior Pastor Search Committee. Then we speak with Samantha La Rocca about the impact of the pandemic on youth.

Listen in directly at frequenceprotestante.com/ecouter-en-direct or at your convenience at www.acparis.org.

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Volunteer Editor for The Spire: ACP's thriving monthly magazine The Spire is looking for a volunteer editor-in-chief. The ideal candidate or team is skilled at content planning, text layout, photo-editing, graphics design, copy-editing, and proofreading. The position requires a native English speaker with a good grasp of French, excellent writing skills, good interpersonal skills, and sharp attention to detail. Interested? Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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For more announcements, please see www.acparis.org, or the weekly ACP Church Bulletin posted online for each worship service at www.acparis.org.

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