84°F
weather icon Clear

Gawryn shares ‘Beloved’ music

Most religious leaders reach their flocks through moving words, but Boulder City’s Francyl Gawryn chooses to get her message across through music.

Gawryn, who serves as associate pastor for Grace Community Church and director of music ministries, recently released her sixth album, “Beloved,” a collection of spiritual and religious songs.

The first song, “Beloved,” sets the tone for the collection of songs. Gawryn describes it as a “love song to God.” It also brings to light God’s love for Jesus Christ and the world, she said.

The album features songs Gawryn has written during the past 40 years.

“It spans the decades; it’s not chronological,” she said

The oldest piece on the album is a song about angels that Gawryn wrote in the 1970s when she was “really into angels.”

Another song, “If You Will Walk Toward the Light,” was inspired by a piece of scripture that was especially poignant to Gawryn when she was going through a dark time.

She also has transformed an old Gaelic melody, “Braes o’ Balquhidder,” with modern lyrics, following in the tradition of American folk songs for “The Highlands of Heaven.”

She said her inspiration comes from her life and moments of beauty, adding that sometimes her muse can be tricky.

“It’s not an intellectual process. It’s an emotional process,” she said about songwriting. “My emotions become the harmony. My emotions become the melody.”

Music has been a part of Gawryn’s life for as long as she can remember. She has been playing the guitar for 50 years and also plays the autoharp, Appalachian dulcimer and small percussion instruments.

Earlier in her adult life, she spent five years teaching music in the San Francisco Bay Area before being called to the ministry. Today, she teaches guitar for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

In addition to her work at Grace Community, Gawryn directs the Interfaith Peace Choir and will lead the ensemble when it performs in November as part of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada’s annual forum series and at its Thanksgiving service.

She also is preparing for a Gaelic Christmas cantata at Grace Community Church that will be presented Dec. 13.

Her work sharing the Gospel recently took her and Jan Liebhauser, the church’s office manager, to Mongolia for two weeks.

Through Cru, the organization formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ International, the women helped introduce Jesus Christ to the native population, establish prayer groups and create fellowship opportunities.

“We learn from them as much as they learn from us,” Gawryn said.

Having been freed from a communist government, Mongolia is seeing Christianity sweep across the country, and people are eager to learn, Liebhauser added.

Gawryn said the experience was so moving that she plans to go back next year with her husband, Marvin, and introduce centering prayer, a Christian contemplative practice.

She has lived in Boulder City for 13 years.

When not writing music or helping parishioners, Gawryn enjoys beading and creating artwork out of textiles. The cover of “Beloved” is a piece of beaded art she created.

The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and Mirror Sound Studios in Seattle in August.

It is available on her website, http://www.francyl.com, or by email at francyl.gawryn@gmail.com.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Holiday pancake breakfast tradition continues

The Rotary Club of Boulder City’s annual Damboree pancake breakfast is still a go for Saturday, albeit with a few changes.

Patriotic platter sure to please all

Saturday is Independence Day. Let’s celebrate with a red, white and beautiful fresh fruit, crispy cracker and sweet fluffy dip platter sure to please everyone at your table.

Agencies provide assistance for veterans

In just a very short time, America was changed significantly due to the worldwide infection of the dreaded COVID-19 virus. These resources can go a long way in helping to keep Southern Nevada as safe as possible.

 
Hundreds honor girl with cancer on her birthday

Tissue-paper confetti filled the sky. Silly string was sprayed. Bubbles were blown. Horns honked.

By any name, rice dish is delish

As the summer heats up, keeping meals simple and comforting feels grounding to me. Maybe you, too? You could say I’m craving simplicity bathed in melted cheese more than ever.

Show dad you think he’s peachy keen

This weekend we celebrate all the great fathers and father figures in our lives. One way to let them know how much we appreciate them is to make a fabulous dessert that’s just peachy. Or nectarine-y. Your choice.

Men’s luck ran out at gaming table

It’s a story about a game of chance that turns deadly. Some even speculate there may have once been a powerful curse that lurked in the heart of the Old West, for example, at a particular gaming table in Virginia City.

Seen on Scene: At Free Fishing Day

Left, Juan Santos helps his son, Angel Santos, fish during Free Fishing Day, presented by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, at Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday.

Best dam salads

At this time of the year when spring is winding down and summer temperatures are starting to rise, a salad can be very refreshing, delicious and keep you from feeling weighted down.