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Pastor Cindy Andrews-Looper, who we first profiled back in 2007, is resigning from the church she helped found. In a message to parishioners Pastor Cindy explained her decision to leave Holy Trinity and announced her new venture, a website called www.igniteursoulnow.com.
Read the entire message below:
My dear brothers and sisters of Holy Trinity,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
As many of you know, I have been on sabbatical for a little over two months. In my time away, I have spent extended time in solitude with God. I have gotten incredibly close to God ...closer, I believe, than I have ever been. The new light and hope that God has infused in my spirit is incredibly life-giving. In the closeness with God, He has begun to reveal things to me that I could not hear before. These messages have to do with my future and His unique plans for me. You have heard me quote Jeremiah 29:11 often in sermons ..."For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."
There have been times throughout my life, since 1992, in which God has brought this verse to the forefront of my spirit. In my time away, God once again got my attention. As in times past, I have wrestled with God. Sometimes God calls us to do things that we really don't want to do. But we know that we will truly have no peace until we surrender and obey. And, it is in this place of surrender and obedience that I write you today.
I don't know the specifics of the next chapter of my life. But, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is calling me to a new chapter; a chapter that uses my gifts of speaking, writing, comedy and my newfound gifts of painting and photography to communicate God's abundant love for every soul alive. Since I have surrendered to what I feel God is calling me to, I have had amazing peace in my spirit. And, when I quote Jeremiah 29:11, I quote it with great conviction once again knowing that God, indeed, has a plan!
I share all this with you because I know over the past 2-3 weeks, you have wondered what in the world is going on. You have wondered why I have not returned. You have wondered if someone is keeping me away. Let me say lovingly, that it has been the Holy Spirit keeping me focused on God and on the things He is calling me to do with my future. The vestry and leadership have been waiting on me to give them an answer about my future plans. And, this week, I met with the vestry and personnel committee to share what I feel God is calling me to do.
This week I issued my resignation to the vestry and personnel committee as Senior Pastor of Holy Trinity Community Church. Honestly, this decision was probably the most difficult I have had to make in the last 18 years of my life. And, that is why it has taken me time to surrender and find peace with God. I can't begin to tell you how I have labored and prayed over this decision. I have tossed and turned in my bed at night, I have lost my appetite, I have carried a heavy weight in my soul ... until I surrendered to God's call. When I accepted what God was putting in my mind and spirit, an incredible peace came over me. I slept like a baby and my appetite has returned.
God has given me a confidence and hope that He has a unique plan for my future. But, He is calling me to a huge step of faith. He is calling me to step out into the unknown with Him. He is calling me to release my responsibilities at the church I birthed. As the "spiritual mother" of this congregation, it has been hard to let go and entrust you to the grace and care of God. But, in my soul, I know that is the best and safest place for you.
You see, my brothers & sisters, just as God has plans for me moving forward ... He also has plans for you. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."
As you read this, you have a variety of responses available to you. You can get upset and become angry with me, the leadership and/or staff, or even God for what feels like a major disruption. OR ... you can trust, just as I have had to trust, that there is a divine plan being revealed that is for my best and your best. You can bow at the foot of the cross, with your tears and sadness, with your joys and celebrations and know that ... a new and incredibly exciting future lies before you and before me. You can choose to hold hands and to hold each other, taking one small step at a time into your future. You can know that God has ordained this time for you and for me. There is a new chapter being revealed to both of us.
My peace has come in surrendering to God's plan. And, I believe your peace and hope will be found when you do the same.
I know many of you have been worried about me. Let me assure you that I am truly ok. Let me assure you that I am still in Nashville and will be in ministry in a new capacity. I feel the form and medium of my ministry will be changing. I have created a website and am starting to write, travel and speak. For several years, I have felt God leading me to write a book. In my time away, God confirmed this again. This is a step of faith in the next chapter of my life.
The significant blessings in my life have come when I have been willing to boldly obey God's direction. It seems the more difficult the challenge, the greater blessing that followed my obedience. I am trusting God to do the mighty work in my life that He has done in the past. And, my dear brothers & sisters, I ask you to do the same.
Please don't abandon this church family that has brought you so much hope and peace. Please keep coming and inviting your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers who don't have a church home. Please step up and volunteer. The staff and leadership are going to need new leaders and support for ministries moving forward. This church ... Holy Trinity Community Church ... will die without your presence and support. I ask you, ... no, I beg you, ... to please not abandon this amazing bastion of hope. I have invested 18 years of my life working alongside you in building this congregation into a viable mainline church whose arms are open to everyone who walks in the doors. Please keep her strong and healthy so that many other souls may find the peace that you enjoy.
Will things be different without my presence? Certainly. It is to be expected. But, let me remind you that different is not bad ... it is just different. Please don't abandon Holy Trinity to attend another church that can, in no way form or fashion, offer what she offers to those who are broken and hurt. Please ... give ... of your time, your talents, and your treasures (yes, that would be your money). I won't be around to remind you of this important stewardship piece. But, for those of you who know and heed this truth, you will find abundant blessings from the unlimited Source of God.
I do hope you will stay in touch with me. My website is ... www.igniteursoulnow.com
It is only in the beginning stages, but is up on the web. If you would like to be on the email list for this new ministry, please respond to this email and I will make sure to include you ... or you may email me at: ... email@example.com
My brothers & sisters, I love you so very much. I am lifting you in prayer. I thank you, sincerely, for your love and grace in the last 18 years.
I hope you are planning on attending the Homecoming Service this coming Sunday, October 5th at 11:00 A.M. where we will celebrate our 18 years in ministry. I will be there worshipping with you. I can't wait to see you and share my love with you.
Let me remind you that someday we will all be in heaven together and know that we were a part of an amazing spiritual movement and living organism known as Holy Trinity Community Church. We will meet people whose lives were touched by her ministry and give thanks that a soul found Jesus Christ because of us.
I leave you with the verse that God has given me for the next part of my journey: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
Abundant blessings, love, grace and peace to you,
Leaving Holy Trinity doesn’t mean Andrews-Looper is putting pastoral care behind her. “In the past 2–3 weeks, I have had some interesting opportunities to give hope and love to individuals who need it. Just today, I prayed with a little 7 year old boy whose mother gave him up for adoption…. I [recently] listened to a man who had just arrived tell me about losing his wife of 60+ years…. Each day I am praying that God will allow my path to cross individuals who need to feel love.”
She is also “continuing to officiate at weddings and funerals…and pet funerals and pet blessings. As you know, in our community, our pets are our children. When we lose them, it is like losing a dear family member. I provide pastoral care for those who are having to have their pets put to sleep, those who have lost a pet and those wanting some kind of service to remember their pets.”
Indeed, her plans are so out of the box that she’s bringing Ignite Your Soul Now with Pastor Cindy to Lipstick lounge on Sunday, December 7, at 9 a.m. The event promises to be “a humorous and charismatic presentation of practical spiritual truths to make life better.” Events like this would be perfect for “individuals who don’t really want to be part of a local congregation; but still desire uplifting and inspiring thoughts and truths for their lives.” Seems that now she’s not tied to a congregation, one never knows where she might turn up, spreading her message of love and acceptance.
However, information about Cindy Andrews-Looper’s developing ministry is always to be found at her website, www.igniteursoulnow.com. Those who may feel in need of her pastoral care services, or would like to discuss having her officiate weddings, funerals, or blessings may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
graphic via the Tennessean
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.