Wednesday Bible Study at 1:00pm & 7:00pm
Communion, Nguzo Saba and P[e]r Ankh
As we complete twenty-five years of Africentric Christian Ministry we end where we began. In the fall and winter of 1993 New Salem Church (which renamed itself First Afrikan Church) I as pastor decided to preach a series of sermons on the Nguzo Saba, (the Seven Principles) of Kwanzaa. This decision was driven, in part, by the project-dissertation I was working on for my doctorate degree. The question with which we were wrestling was “How and by what means do we take seriously the pain, pathos, hopes and dreams of Afrikans enduring the diaspora in America?” We had been robbed of so much – families, houses, lands, identity, ancestral memory . . . . list goes on ad infinitum.
The decision to marry biblical texts to the Afri-cultural principles of Kwanzaa represented an attempt to restore our collective memory and reclaim our Afrikan identity in a “Christian” context and community. The hope we shared twenty-five years ago was that one day we would heal the Afrikan soul that longs for freedom from white supremacist oppressions and for Afrikan self-determination.
The consequences of that decision are far too numerous to articulate here. Suffice it to say that it set us on the course of re-imagining and re-interpreting biblical narratives and reconsidering euro-centric theological and philosophical assumptions and assertions that were always intended to enslave Afrikan peoples at the levels of the body, mind, soul and spirit.
After twenty-five years we return to the Nguzo Saba. We have grown in our self-understanding, our knowledge of Afrikan and Afrikan American histories, cultures, and spiritualities, as well as our collective purpose on the stage of human history. We have fought together and argued together and loved together and grieved together and hurt together and celebrated together and still we live and hope together that one day we will be utterly free of the powers and principalities that in this moment, threaten the future of the planet.
Therefore, the sermons on the Nguzo Saba are linked with the annual P[e]r Ankh (House of Life) series where we envision what it means to live life in its fullness as we engage our God, our ancestors, and each other in meaningful and imaginative ways now and in the future.
Sunday, October 27th: Community Healing — Luke 17:11-19
October 30th & November 3rd
- Umoja/Unity – To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
- Ruth 1:6-10, 15-17
November 6th & November 10th
- Kujichagulia/Self-Determination – To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
- 2 Kings 7:1-10
November 13th and November 17th
- Ujima/Collective Work and Responsibility – To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together
- Numbers 26:33;
- Numbers 27:1-10
November 20th & November 24th
- Ujamaa/Cooperative Economics – To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
- Acts 4:32-37
- Community Thanksgiving Service
- Nia/Purpose –To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness
- Ephesians 4:1-6, 25-31
- Theme: Living Life to the Fullest
- Scripture: John 10:10c
December 11th & December 15th
- Kuumba/Creativity – To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
- Matthew 10:1, 5-8, 16
- Imani/Faith – To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
- Matthew 1:18-25
December 25th Christmas Day