Black History Celebration a Success–Maranatha–Part 1

March 3, 2014 at 11:09 pm Leave a comment

Members and pastor of Maranatha Lutheran Church can count themselves blessed by the event on Sunday, February 23rd to mark Black History Month. The church was filled, community members found their way to Maranatha’s new location on Woodhaven Road in Kitchener, and a good number from St. Philip Lutheran attended as well, including my husband and me. Since we share this building now as our place of worship, it was fitting that  we worship and celebrate together.

_SYL6833                                                                                                                                           Helping people find their way to the celebration; photo credit, Sylma

I’ve looked forward to this year’s celebration and the enthusiasm that the Caribbean Lutherans bring to their worship, somewhat different than traditional Lutherans I have known and worship with. Being truthful, I was also looking forward to tasting Caribbean food and the program. It always includes music.

DSCF6836                                                                                                                                                                  Display in the narthex

We entered the sanctuary and listened to the music of the Starlite Steel Band, while more members gathered, while women from Maranatha prepped last items in the kitchen then joined us for worship and opening celebrations. Pastor Peter Kuhnert opened and welcomed all to the service. He introduced Maranatha’s new choir, composed mainly of youth,  and two playing drums. They sang Njalo (meaning Always), representing prayers to God to fill all our needs. Our hymns ranged from the more solemn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to the lighter “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.”

_SYL6641                                                                                                                                                                        Starlite Steel Band; photo credit, Sylma

_SYL6572                                                                                                                                           New Maranatha choir, directed by Pastor Peter Kuhnert; photo credit, Sylma

_SYL6614                                                                                                                                     Communion with Deaconess Arlene Knight and Pastor Peter Kuhnert; photo credit, Sylma

Pastor Peter addressed the theme of Celebrating Faith Through the Arts in his sermon for the day, and spoke on how we use music, dance, drama, liturgical art such as banners, poetry, spoken and written word to both demonstrate and  share our faith in God.  He also added a little humour when he spoke of being a German Lutheran who traditionally doesn’t move as much when they sing.

People may also use some of these forms in supplication and prayer as the psalmist did when he cried out in distress. Some of the best art comes from deep feeling and experience, both good and not so good.

After offering, as in traditional Lutheran services, communion was served—open to all who believe that the bread and wine represent Jesus’ gifts to us.  Pastor Rick Pryce, of St. Philip Lutheran, assisted in serving communion during which the Starlite Band played. The service concluded with another joyous African hymn, Amen, Siakudisima, which we sang in both English and the original Xhosa African language.

DSCF6830                                                                                                        Women of Maranatha, ready to serve our lunch, but it was more than a lunch. It was a feast and a tasty one too.

_SYL6668                                                                                                        Pastor Peter helpes with the serving. Members of Cameron Heights Choir are served. Photo credit, Sylma

DSCF6829                                                                                                                                                         Dennis and his wife Mary Ann, of St. Philip Lutheran

DSCF6838                                                                                                                                      Part of the  book display on African-American history. You may recognize some titles.

Watch for Part 2– the rest of the event

With appreciation to Sylma Fletcher for permission to use some of her photos

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Entry filed under: artists, arts, church, culture, entertainment, faith, family, fine arts, history, music, photography, song. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Black History Month– Celebrating with our sister congregation Black History Month–Maranatha– Part 2

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