Tuesday, March 30, 2010

new church, youngest member

another from the prayers and processions series that i'm working on faith and it's expression in our community:


Stephanie Goetsch clamps the cloth between her teeth and curls her newborn tight.

A scattering of circular tables dots the gym floor and four basketball goals frame the sidelines. Red lights on small scoreboard spell time instead of the score, and a large cross looms on stage as a trio of musicians warms up.

It's almost time for church.

“We started the church in September and he (Luke) was born in October,” Goetsch says. “He's the first lifetime member. In fact, he's automatically a member because we are.”

The 26-year-old attends The Gathering United Methodist Church, a burgeoning congregation that meets in the gym of Courthouse Community United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach. It holds two services a week and targets young adults.

"We like it because it's more family oriented,” Goetsch says. “Because it's a new church, we have more input into how things are.”

Reverend Rachel Gilmore, 28, started the church. "We're meeting a need,” she explains. “That's really the only reason to start a church.”

Gilmore adds with a smile: “Right now we're like the college kid who comes home after they graduate, before they can go out on their own.”

Monday, March 29, 2010


got the chance to shoot uconn once again as they passed through town - as usual, they won.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

one more from the missionaries

he's had this pair of shoes for almost the two years he's been on his mission. while he can afford another pair, he liked the symbolism of the worn shoe and continued to wear it. i have more from the mormon day and you can see them here:


Monday, March 22, 2010

prayers and processions - mormon missionaries

had the opportunity to spend a day with local mormon missionaries for the latest prayers and processions installment. i'll post more from the day soon, but here's the one image that ran and the story.


Matt Randall, 20, drapes a towel over his shoulder and picks up a comb. He tends to his tightly cropped hair and eyes the finishing touches before leaving the bathroom and heading out the door.

Above him hangs a picture.

Three men - three symbols - of his inspiration.

“When I look at the picture, I feel empowered,” said Randall. “I know I've been called to preach the gospel to those here in Virginia.”

Randall's a missionary with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as a Mormon Missionary. He along with two other missionaries, Riley Petersen (CQ) and Pauliasi Wolfgramm (CQ), are about to hit the streets to spread their faith.

The men are key figures in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, including the current and past president. “These are men that we look up to,” said Randall. “When I look at them, I can tell they're called of God.”

Randall looks to the picture, especially in times of difficulty.

“I think of the things they testify and teach of, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Randall. “I know through the feelings that I feel, which is the Holy Ghost, that what they say is true.

Monday, March 15, 2010

prayers and processions - dhamma talk

another from the weekly photo series on faith and it's expression in our community:

Udom Budsriphoom steps behind the desk and takes his seat in front of a bucolic woodland scene. He's wrapped in saffron orange, save his right shoulder, which is bare.

He peers over one of the monitors and takes a breath. A red light indicates that the DV recorder is on. The sound-proof room sucks up his words as they spill over the silver microphone.

Welcome to Dhamma Talk, a nightly installment of the teachings of Buddha at Wat Pasantidhamma in Carrollton, Va. Each night for about an hour the head monk records teachings of the Buddha to be posted on the temple's Web site.

“It's a way for us to tell the teachings of the Buddha.” says Budsriphoom, the head monk and a native of Thailand. “It's also a chance for us to give spiritual advice to people.”

Tonight's lesson is a rumination on nature and the involvement of humans. The teachings are a quiet pursuit for the monk, who longs to help show people Buddhism.

“Sometimes you feel lonely,” Budsriphoom says. “Sometimes we feel shy – you don't feel comfortable when you talk alone.

“You try to imagine many people listening to you around the world.”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

bball tournament

reaction from last night's semifinal high school state bball tourney

Saturday, March 06, 2010

oscar pick

each year our paper does a photo illustration of our movie critic and his pick on who will when for best picture. this year he picks avatar. here he is at the right of the frame in this illustration. it was an interesting challenge blending his face into the body of an avatar.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

school closing

this local school is under threat of closing due to funding - here the librarian, dressed up for dr. seuss' birthday, holds a paper chain made by the students that have slogans urging the school board and city council not to close it. she plans on bringing in front of both organizations to lobby against the closing.