'In His Name' brings members together
From the Times-Picayune
Thursday July 31, 2003
In His Name was the convocational folk Mass group of the Episcopal Diocese founded 34 years ago by my husband, John, who was then a Sunday school teacher to the teenagers at St. Paul's.
More than 40 teenage musicians and singers representing eight New Orleans area Episcopal churches performed modern music specially written for the Episcopal service, along with appropriate folk songs of the time.
John and I became "Papa Grout" and "Mama Grout" to a group we lovingly referred to as "our kids" and, despite their ages today, still do.
The first In His Name service was at St. Paul's in 1969. During the following years, In His Name performed nearly 150 folk Masses in Episcopal churches throughout Louisiana and in Mississippi; performed concerts in churches of other denominations as well as a series of outdoor concerts for the New Orleans Recreation Department; annually played at Easter sunrise services for the Federation of Churches; and, at the request of the late Bishop Iveson Noland, provided the music for the Eucharistic Mass at the Episcopal House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans.
I have always felt that God must surely have had a hand in something as unique as In His Name. What other explanation could there possibly be for the phenomenal success of a group of teenage musicians and singers led by a man with absolutely no musical talent whatsoever and his wife, who can best be described as "singing impaired"?
Through its special musical ministry, In His Name became like a large extended family that included our two young sons, who looked upon its members as brothers and sisters.
In His Name played its final folk Mass at Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville in 1973. Earlier this month, In His Name held a two-day weekend reunion at St. Martin's Episcopal Church with many of "our kids," now in their late 40s and early 50s, coming from all over the state, as well as from North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Florida. Notice of the reunion was posted on the group's Web site, through which members stay in touch.
The close friendships made as teenagers weren't diminished by the passage of time as "our kids" gathered amid hugs, laughter and shared remembrances at St. Martin's, nor were their remarkable talents as musicians and singers diminished as they joined together to once again rehearse and perform a folk Mass after so many, many years.
The Rev. Gedge Gayle, Adelaide Smith Diaz and the congregation of St. Martin's were gracious hosts to members of In His Name and their families.
The faith and friendship that brought us all together as In His Name so many years ago have remained strong bonds between us throughout the decades.
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If you have information for Lake Scene, call Carole Grout at 282-4393, send a fax to 288-3426 or write her at P.O. Box 24566, New Orleans, LA 70184-4566.