Tryenyse Jones named her first CD of spiritual hip-hop "Resilient," a title that reflects both the music and the challenge of getting it produced.

"It's been a 10-year work in progress," said Jones, who is hosting a release party Friday. "It's been a rocky road."

Some of the problems have been frustrating; at one point she had recorded the entire CD but had to start all over when the company she was working with went broke. Add that to the fact that, like many women her age (38), she's struggling to juggle a career and family. Then throw in that four years ago, she and her husband, Stacey, launched Urban Jerusalem, a hip-hop church at 1823 Emerson Av. N., Minneapolis.

"There have been a lot of distractions," she said. "Resilience has been the theme of my life."

She also could have used a variation of the word "love" for the title because that's a theme in many of the songs she writes. "People need unconditional love, and I found that love in God," she said.

She has performed most of the songs at Urban Jerusalem services. She's flattered when worshippers tell her that they like the music, but she's more excited if they say that it speaks to them on a personal level.

"It's a totally crazy thing when people hear a song and think it was written for them," she said. "I love it when they say, 'That's exactly how I feel about life.' To be able to reach out and touch someone, to be able to introduce God to people through music, that's a wonderful feeling."

The release party is at 7 p.m. Friday at Urban Hub Studio, 3016 4th Av. S., Minneapolis. There will be food, and Jones will perform several songs from the disc. There's no admission charge.

Catholic controversies Three controversial Roman Catholic speakers are coming to the Twin Cities.

First on the scene is author Obie Holmen, who will be reading from his new book, "A Wretched Man," Thursday at the House of the Beloved Disciple, 4001 38th Av. S., Minneapolis. The reading will be preceded by a 7 p.m. "mass of celebration for our LGBT brothers and sisters."

British theologian James Alison will make a series of appearances next weekend to talk about the Catholic Church and gays. He'll speak at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Av., St. Paul, and will preach at the 5 p.m. Sunday service at House of Mercy, 104 Snelling Av. S., St. Paul. A $5 donation is suggested for the Friday and Saturday speeches (which are on different topics, by the way).

Lastly, feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether will present a progressive vision for the church at 7 p.m. July 6 at the south shelter of Lake Elmo Park Reserve, 1515 Keats Av. N., Lake Elmo. Donations will be accepted for the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform.

We're No. 1 One more piece of news for Catholics also might be controversial -- but not in these parts. The website of the Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, kicked everyone else's electronic butts in the annual journalism competition of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

Judges from the American Press Institute praised for being well-organized and easy to navigate. The site was designed by Craig Berry. Several other staffers joined Berry in picking up awards. Maria Wiering, Dave Hrbacek and Julie Carroll were singled out for their reporting, and Joe Towalski was honored for his editorials.

A follow-up It was reported here a month ago that Minnesota's United Methodists were going to consider eight petitions dealing with the church's stance on homosexuality, including a rule change to allow the ordination of gays in committed relationships.

All eight petitions passed when they were voted on by about 800 clergy and lay representatives at the Minnesota Annual Conference. They will be sent on to the national general conference, which meets in 2012. Church law cannot be changed on a state level, so nothing will happen before then.

Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392