Poetry Slam: “Hebrew Mamita”

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Hebrew Mamita – Jessica Thurston

Around Yom Kippur I posted a video of  Vanessa Hidary reciting her signature piece entitled “Hebrew Mamita.” I have long loved this piece and spoken word poetry in general, so when a friend from CUFI asked me if i could come up with something artsy to help celebrate Israeli independence at the campus I-Fest (Israeli Festival), this was the first thing to come to mind.

The quality of my video is nothing compared to Hidary’s, but I think I did well and made the piece my own. Heck, I’m amazed that I was able to even memorize the thing!

Also, yes, I do censor myself.

And I’m not wearing shoes.

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Acts of Renewal

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When I was a fifteen-year-old junior in high school, my mom, my aunt, and I made a trip to Roberts Wesleyan College for a preview day. They were both RWC alums, and I was casually looking for a Christian school to attend for my undergrad.

As a part of the preview weekend, I attended a chapel service. I was blown away as chapel consisted not of praise songs and a stodgy speaker, but of an American Sign Language performance to music followed by an amazing drama performance by husband and wife duo Acts of Renewal. The team merged teaching, humor, biblical stories, secular themes, and eternal truths into an eclectic, beautiful, and powerful theatrical performance. I was hooked.

Coming to the end of my Roberts career having been active in drama ministry myself, I couldn’t believe my luck when Acts of Renewal appeared on the chapel schedule in the final semester of my senior year. I wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip away. Following the equally inspiring chapel performance, I introduced Josh and myself as the founders of Muse Creative Arts Ministry and told them about the impact they had had on me as a young Christian and artist over five years ago.

That was the moment when Jim Shores and Carol Anderson-Shores became my friends.

It was so surreal that the artists who I had idolized as the embodiment of what Josh’s and my theatrical love could grow into as a couple were sitting down to lunch with me and wanting to hear about my life and accomplishments. Jim and Carol were a total encouragement and inspiration. They offered specific advice for projects Josh and I have volunteered to participate in for ministry purposes, and they expressed general excitement that people with similar passions and talents were coming behind them.

I am so blessed to have met them, and hope that Josh and I will have the joy of knowing them for years to come.