Friday, August 15, 2014

Coming to town: Anne Lamott, Jason Alexander and more

What a lineup...

That’s all I can say about the big names and brains coming to town, thanks to Chalotte’s religious community.

I’m talking Anne Lamott and Joan Chittister and Joni Eareckson Tada and Barbara Brown Taylor and Jason Alexander, aka George Costanza, Jerry’s balding buddy on TV’s “Seinfeld.”

Got your calendars? The details:

  • Jason Alexander, a Tony Award winner and multiple Emmy nominee, will headline a one-man show Sept. 21 at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Belk Theater. Although it’s a fundraiser – for Levine Jewish Community Center, Temple Israel and Temple Beth El – the event is open to the public.

“An Evening with Jason Alexander … and his Hair,” featuring comedy, music and audience participation, is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are $50-$180 at 704-372-1000 and here.

  • Author-blogger Anne Lamott will return to Christ Episcopal Church at 7 p.m. Nov. 20. Her 15 books (including “Bird by Bird,” “Traveling Mercies” and “Help. Thanks. Wow: The Three Essential Prayers”) are about life, God and writing.

She packed the church’s All Saints Hall last November. So register early here for this evening of conversation and book signings. Tickets are $25, which will include a copy of her new book, “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace.” If the church runs out of seats, it will sell Standing Room Only tickets for $20. Details: 704-714-6945.

  • Christ Episcopal will also host Catholic author-activist Joan Chittister at 10 a.m. Oct. 12. A Benedictine sister and co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, Chittister has also authored books on contemporary spirituality and the need for change in the Catholic Church. Among them: “Following the Path – The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose and Joy.”

She’ll talk with the Rev. Chip Edens, the church’s rector, in All Saints Hall about “Faith Purpose and the Second Half of Life.” Free. More details here.

  • Best-selling Christian author and disabilities advocate Joni Eareckson Tada will speak and sign copies of her books at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Billy Graham Library. Her newest is “Beside Bethesda: 31 Days Toward Deeper Healing,” which will be available for purchase at the library. Guests can bring their own copies, too, though there’s a limit of two signed items.

A 1967 diving accident left Tada, then 17, a quadriplegic. She later learned to paint with the brush between her teeth. More details about her library event here. here.

  • Myers Park Baptist Church will host the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor for three days in October. A professor of religion in Georgia, her latest book – “Learning to Walk in the Dark” – was the subject of a Time magazine cover story in April.

She’ll be the church’s speaker for its continuing “Jesus in the 21st Century” lecture series. At 7 p.m., Oct. 17, Taylor will speak on “The Wedding of Heaven and Earth.” Free. On Oct. 18, she’ll conduct a workshop on “Lunar Spirituality for the 21st Century” (Admission $60). And on Oct. 19, she’ll give the sermon (“The Treasures of Darkness”) at the 11 a.m. service. Details and registration form for workshop here.

-- Tim Funk