Friday, September 03, 2010

So. We've Moved!

That's right. Lagniappe has moved. Since we transferred our lease over the LESM (Lutheran Episcopal Services of Mississippi) we continued worshipping as we always did. Same location. Same time. When LESM announced that they would be shutting down we needed to find a new home since we didn't have the funds to maintain the lease and utility costs. In God's great care for His church He provided another home for LPC to worship. Our great friends at Christ Episcopal in BSL have allowed us to rent their facility for worship. Not only have we moved locations, we have moved times. We are meeting at 912 Beach Rd. at 5:30pm each Sunday evening. If you are unfamiliar with BSL this is how you get there: From HWY 90 take Main St. until it dead ends into the beach. Turn right and continue past St. Stanislaus and the pier. Christ Episcopal is just past the pier on the right hand side of the road, directly across from the Gulf of Mexico. We have a great location! Come worship with us. For questions please call 228- 467-3887.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dear Lagniappe friends and family, In August of 2005 I never dreamed what God might be doing in the midst of a Hurricane called Katrina. I understood theologically that God could work ‘good things’ even in the midst of a tragedy, but had never clearly come face to face with His providence or goodness like I have witnessed here. In October of 2005, with great confidence, passion and zeal, I resigned my pastorate in Memphis to follow God’s calling to Bay St. Louis. On that day there were many who scratched their heads at that decision and questioned the wisdom of the timing. I smiled and assured them that God was calling me and He would provide all that was needed for His calling. He has shown that He can be trusted. I knew that God had called me to plant this church, but beyond that I was not firmly convinced of what His calling would look like. As Lagniappe transitioned from disaster response to a ‘normal’ church and after many years of wrestling I had resolved to transition out of my role at Lagniappe and get another job in Bay St. Louis while serving alongside the man who God would call to be our primary pastor. For years I have struggled with the tension between being a small church ‘parish priest’ type pastor versus a ‘preacher/teacher’ type senior pastor. At the end of that process, I became convinced that God was calling me not ‘out of the pastorate’ into some other vocation in Bay St. Louis, but rather that God was calling me out of Bay St. Louis and into some other pastorate. I was devastated. I wrestled in prayer and tears begging God to just leave me alone, but He is persistent and I guess I’ve been a bit softened by what we’ve seen here and acquiesced to His leading. So in May of this year with that conviction and with no safety net I announced to you that I would be leaving Lagniappe. I knew there were other open pulpits in the P.C.A., some were even intriguing, but I truly didn’t know if I would ‘fit’ anywhere other than here. I made that announcement with the firm conviction that my time at Lagniappe was complete and that the congregation, Presbytery and denomination would all have to rally together and participate in the future of this church. I knew it would be hard, but it would be best. In the weeks following that announcement we have seen the level of ‘ownership’ in Lagniappe dramatically increase. As you know we have a congregational meeting this upcoming Sunday to nominate a pulpit search committee and many of you are chomping at the bit to be involved in various other ways. God is working and stirring the hearts of His people. I have been encouraged and thrilled to see Him work in so many of you, even in this short period of time. In April of this year one of those intriguing church ‘possibilities’ had inquired about my willingness to ‘talk with them’ about their open Senior Pastor position. I told them that I ‘wouldn’t even pray about it!’ I also communicated that I was firmly committed to staying in Bay St. Louis, even if I ‘wasn’t at Lagniappe’. I was then challenged to ‘pray about’ praying about it. “Hmmmm,” I thought to myself, “I guess I couldn’t even consider myself a Christian if I said no to that.” I began to pray. I think God laughs at my firmly held convictions and I’m getting used to what I like to call the ‘Jonah toss’—that’s the feeling you get when you are sure you should be going one way and God throws you off the boat into the ocean like He did with Jonah. That ‘flailing in the air feeling’ is what I call the ‘Jonah toss’! In my own mind there would be ‘no other church anywhere’ that would be a fit for my personality, desire to primarily preach/teach, zeal for life, heart for the poor and love of the Gospel all rolled into one. There was one. I just didn’t know it at the time. Last evening, the session of Southwood Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, Alabama voted to call a congregational meeting for the purpose of voting on a unanimous recommendation from their search committee to call me as their Senior Pastor. I have accepted that call pending the important votes in the congregation and the other church committees and Presbyteries. I do understand that this will come as a great surprise to many of you and additionally there may be others who might experience varying degrees of frustration or elation along the spectrum of human emotion. Please know that this is not a decision to leave Lagniappe for any reason other than God’s calling. There is no ‘issue’, ‘underlying problem’ or a ‘real story’ that must be uncovered. It is God’s calling in my life and I hope you know by now that, if and when God calls me, I will go, regardless of the situation I am leaving or moving toward. When we left Memphis there were great needs in the church and God met those needs without me. When we leave Hancock County there will still be great needs in this community and at Lagniappe and God WILL meet those needs without me. Remember in the Old Testament that God spoke to his people through Baalam’s donkey (please fight the urge to draw too many parallels here!). He doesn’t need us, but rather rejoices in allowing His people to participate in what He is doing. Please know two things: my affection for Lagniappe and the people of Bay St. Louis/Waveland could never be overstated- in many ways my heart will always be ‘in the Bay’. Additionally, Lagniappe needs you to embrace her mission now more than ever! We have said hundreds of times that we ‘exist on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to participate in the restoration of creation…’ Beloved, whether you are reading this letter in Wayland County Massachusetts, Tacoma, Washington or sitting at the Mockingbird CafĂ© on Second Street you must participate. Withdrawal, complacency or bitterness are not ‘lagniappe’ options. To love her IS to participate. To appreciate this ministry IS to embrace it. In many ways it’s like being a Saints fan. There is no partial commitment allowed in the Superdome. You can’t simply give a ‘golf clap’ when Drew Brees throws to Jeremy Shockey- you’ve got to scream yourself hoarse and bear hug the person sitting next to you! Lagniappe needs that level of zeal from you now more than ever! Personally, it will be a bittersweet move for our family. School begins in Huntsville in early August. With appropriate ecclesiastical permission, we will move prior to the school start date. Jean IV will remain in Bay St. Louis for his senior year at Bay High. He will live with my mom and we’ll all be going back and forth a bit. God sold our house in 3 days for cash, no contingencies--- simply unreal. There will be other details forthcoming, but please know in summary how deeply thankful I am to our Father in Heaven for the opportunity to have served at Lagniappe and to have shared life with you. “The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love and He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 -Jean F. Larroux, III

Friday, April 30, 2010

Please Pray!

I hardly know what to write...we're all a little heart broken around here. 5 years after Katrina, our town is finally coming back. We have the old historic light posts in the ground; shops are filling the Main Street buildings, and people are coming from New Orleans to buy antiques, go fishing, find art, and relax at the beach. But now we have 10 thousand gallons a day of oil spilling into our waters from the Deep Water Horizon wreck. We are in a nationally declared state of emergency, and this is projected to be one of the worst environmental disasters in decades. Planes are flying and spraying dispersant for hours a day. Booms are going up around the gulf trying to protect our coast line...but the reality is that the wind, the severe weather, and the magnitude of the spill are making that job nearly impossible. We are preparing for a disaster potentially worse than Katrina. An already weak job market and a town dependent on tourism (particularly of the fishing/seafood type) will not do well when the oysters, shrimp, and fish are gone. Please pray! Pray 1) that God would protect our shores, 2) that people would have hope in the midst of loosing their industry, 3) that God would raise up volunteers both locally and around the country to help us recover environmentally from this devastation, and 4) that God would receive all the glory from whatever it is He is doing here on the coast. I will be updating this blog further and more frequently as we receive more details and are able to give more concrete information/requests. Thank you in advance for your prayers and support-God is working but we just don't know how.

Monday, January 25, 2010

When the Saints go marching in....

From, “While the Saints lined up for the overtime field goal attempt, two elderly men, one black, one white...both decked out in black and gold, stood in the alleyway leading to section 313, nervously awaiting the play. As the football sailed through the uprights, the two strangers embraced, laughing, crying, jumping, shouting, lost in the unbelievable moment that had finally arrived: The Saints are in the Super Bowl. THIS year is 'next year.' Life is good.” Okay, it’s the morning after the ‘big game.’ As Jim Henderson said in his call on WWL870, “Pigs have flown, hell has frozen over, the Saints are going to the Super Bowl.” So what, you may be thinking, does this have to do with a ‘pastoral note’? I’ll get there but indulge me a few paragraphs first. What I love about the story is that it is really the story of a city, city that is first in all of the worst categories like crime, murder and corruption. New Orleans is also a city that is almost last in all of the positive categories like education, wage potential and housing. New Orleans is a city that is divided on socio-economic issues, political agendas and of course, race. Mayor Nagin’s comments after Katrina epitomized that struggle when he called New Orleans a ‘chocolate’ city. Almost everything in New Orleans divides us, almost everything, except the Saints. For a brief season every fall New Orleanians are not as much black and white as they are black and gold. As we left the Dome last night and walked down Poydras a black man put his arm out and embraced my children and me at a crosswalk simply exclaiming, “Who Dat!!!” People were dancing in the streets, hugging strangers, weeping and repeating over and over again, “I can’t believe it!” So again, what does this have to do with a ‘pastoral note’? Two words: common grace. Common grace is a theological term used to describe the ‘daily mercies’ of God that provide blessings in the little things. The term ‘common grace’ would be used to describe the joy that one would have in hearing a symphony playing in the park; the beauty of dancers performing the Nutcracker or watching excellence in sports. In the Movie Chariots of Fire the Scottsman, Eric Liddel is quoted as saying, “I know God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run I feel His pleasure.” That is common grace. The joy of using gifts from God as they were designed, whether it be in athletics, music, art or any number of other fields, that is the essence of common grace. Perhaps it just may be that when elections cannot bridge racial divides, political rallies cannot bring people together and 11 o’clock on Sunday morning continues to be the most segregated hour of the week God provides the Saints, a little common grace for New Orleans. Maybe, just maybe the “Who Dat” nation might take a lesson from some of our boys in Black and Gold and when we feel his pleasure in whatever successes He lays before us, we might kneel and point heavenward moving from common grace to thanksgiving. Saints player number 83, Billy Miller posted these three simple words on his Twitter account immediately after the game, “Thank you Lord.” Indeed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Disaster Response to Haiti

Dear Friends of Lagniappe,
If you are seeking information about service to Haiti please check out the MNA website. MNA Disaster Response has a long-term partnership with Rev. Dony St. Germain and Rev. Brian Kelso, both MNA Staffers and leaders of the Haitian church planting network.

For more information please visit:

Donations may be made online. Please visit the online team registration for long-term relief. Teams will be received for relief and rebuilding when assessments have been made and it is determined to receive volunteers. Please be patient until that time. Thanks.

Curt Moore