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2024: Reclaiming the Village, Restorying Our Past

Updated: Jan 9

Last year, we embarked on a transformative journey by daring to reimagine the essence of our church community. This exploration led us to delve into introspective inquiries concerning the beliefs handed down to us, the practices within our ministry that may have gone unexamined, and the shared calling and vocation that unites us. We dared to ask a profound question: “what is GOD and the ancestors summoning us to in this moment?” We have discerned that we must begin with our children, hence the initiative "The Year of the Child." In this dedicated period, we focused towards nurturing the spiritual growth and well-being of our youngest members, understanding that they embody the future of our community and hold the key to the legacy we are shaping.

This year, our focus revolves around fostering a sense of community and unity, guiding us to the overarching theme for this year: “Reclaiming the Village, Restorying Our Past.” What exactly does the term "restory" entail in the context of our past? To "restory" signifies the process through which we collectively engage in reinterpreting and retelling the narratives and stories that represent our shared history. It involves an intentional and thoughtful effort to revisit and present these familiar accounts in a manner that reflects a refined understanding, often highlighting perspectives that have been marginalized, overlooked, or erased. “Restorying” is about breathing new life into our historical narrative, ensuring that it resonates with the richness and diversity of our collective experiences. The idea here is that the community represents the unified voice of its people, with the village emerging when everyone is recognized and valued within this collective. 

In a broader context, "Reclaiming the Village" suggests a deliberate effort to return to or rediscover the values of mutual support, shared responsibility, and communal solidarity that may have eroded over time. It calls for a reconnection to the principles of interdependence, where each member of the community contributes to the well-being of the whole, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose. Furthermore, our ministry aims to explore significant national historical sites where Black people exemplified the principles of a village. In doing so, we intend to unearth historical narratives that will enrich our journey and contribute to shaping our shared identity as a congregation.

As we pay tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on what would have been his 95th birthday, we will explore the resilient efforts of our community in the most challenging times and circumstances with a week of worship and reflections. Join us on January 12 at 6 PM for a special Sankofa moment. Dr. Dr. Itihari Toure will return to SPCBC to lead "Excavating Sacred Memory: Dogon Sight." This excavation work offers a glimpse into African cosmology and worldview, delving into the knowledge of the Dogon people who had an understanding of sight. Join us for a special worship experience on Sunday, January 14, at 8 AM, as we pay tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This special service will feature a presentation by the Sacred Arts Ministry and a sermon delivered by our guest preacher, Rev. Matthew Williams. On Tuesday, January 16, at 6 PM, we are holding a hush harbor for educators in the Life Center, facilitated by Dr. Itihari Toure. Additionally, on Wednesday, January 17th at 7:00 PM a Sacred Memory Community Bible Study, where we will be discussing “Witnessing the Manifestation in the Bible.” This 4-session (hybrid) study kicks off on Wednesday, January 17th, at 7:00 PM, running weekly until Feb. 7th, with a culminating special service on Ash Wednesday, February 14th, at 7 PM. Don’t miss this enriching journey.

A black-and-white photograph of a group of 50 women, men and children standing in front of a church, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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