September 24, 2019
In August 2019 we commemorated the Quadricentennial (400) anniversary of enslaved Africans landing on the shores of the United States at Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. Many events were held throughout the country including within our own church where the Presiding Bishop asked that we participate in a national bell ringing on August 25, 3:00 pm, in remembrance of this critical date. There were also events in Ghana celebrated as the “Year of the Return” encouraging visits to the place of origin for many African-Americans. I also visited Jamestown this summer and learned a lot more about our American history including the critical role of the church in the chaotic times of the countries’ formation.
Commemorations are also very important in our church life, regardless of whether we are celebrating a tragic or happy event or flawed or heroic individuals. The church has provided us with liturgical resources including Holy Women Holy Men, and more recently A Great Cloud of Witnesses to highlight the many individuals who through their lives have furthered the ministry and mission of the church. Many churches do commemorate their own patron saint, however so many more can be explored and utilized from our church history.
We can use these commemorations as part of our preaching, bible-study and life-long learning for youth and adults, as well as for stewardship, evangelism, outreach programs and even for our music ministry. For example, on September 8, the church will commemorate the ministry of the Rev. Alexander Crummell, who though dismissed and rejected for ordination because of race, persevered to become a church planter and activist notwithstanding the many roadblocks he encountered.
These commemorations can be sources of inspiration to recharge and revitalize us in our journey as Christians. Begin your own exploration today!!
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