Black History Month Celebration

March 1, 2015 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

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display of books, artifacts and head dress relating to  African heritage

(S. Fletcher)

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the program

(S. Fletcher)

A week ago, members of St Philip Lutheran and the Black community in Waterloo region attended the Black History Month celebration hosted by Maranatha Lutheran congregation. As their home is at St. Philip, that’s where the events were held.

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(S. Fletcher)

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Beginning with a service of celebration, we gathered in the sanctuary, with members of the Starlite Steel Band providing the music.

(S. Fletcher)

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Such enthusiasm and life in their music.

(C. Wilker)

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And the altar flanked by beautiful flowers

(S. Fletcher)

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Emmanuel George, rep from Faith Life Financial, greets Pastor Claudine Carlson, guest preacher for the service.

(C. Wilker)

Peter Braid, MP for the Kitchener area, shared a few words of celebration as well. He spoke of having been among the Canadian delegation to go to South Africa to attend the funeral service of Nelson Mandela.  In 1995, the first official Black History month was celebrated and January was the first month to  officially celebrate Lincoln Alexander, who has provided a good deal of leadership to Canadians.

Pastor Claudine spoke of humanity’s  quest to reach perfection, and how we humans want to be like God. We want power and “do not succumb easily to God’s power.” God wants none of his people to be enslaved and his call is to liberate those who have been enslaved.  How easy it is for us to despair, yet “in Christ we are all one” and Jesus promises never to leave us.

We can celebrate the tremendous strides that have been made regarding injustice, yet we still have a long way to go. Our call is to pray, work and write letters. Pastor Claudine reminded us of the definition of God’s grace: “that you cannot do anything to make God love you more and you cannot do anything to make God love you less.”

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The service included communion.

(S. Fletcher)

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Hugs for Sharon, Maranatha Council Chair, on the way out of the service

(S. Fletcher)

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The ladies, ready to serve the lunch

(C. Wilker)

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Serving the lunch

(S. Fletcher)

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Three long tables and only a couple of empty chairs. Well attended and the food was yummy.

(S. Fletcher)

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A few colourful hats

(S. Fletcher)

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(Photo: S. Fletcher)

Then after the tasty lunch, a speaker, Rosemary Sadlier, representing Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), who spoke on the History of the Black people in Canada. She is a recipient of the Order of Ontario for her work promoting Black History. She is the author of six books on Black History.

“Canada was the promised land. Canada was Canaan and the North Star.”

According to the OBHS website, on the Black people’s contribution to Canada:

As a people, with roots dating back to 1603, African-Canadians have defended, cleared, built and farmed this country; our presence is well established, but not well-known.

Rosemary created more of a dialogue with people in attendance, and answered questions with grace. It was a most interesting presentation .

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(Photo: S. Fletcher)

Indeed there is much to celebrate, such as our past Governor General Michaelle Jean, and of course the achievements of Lincoln Alexander, the first Black Canadian elected to the House of Commons and who was also a Governor General.

In all it was a good celebration of important milestones of our fellow Canadians.

Appreciation to S. Fletcher of Link Picnic Festival, for graciously sharing her photos. The others are my own.

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Entry filed under: Black History, celebration, church, culture, faith, history. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

One step at a time–Carolyn R. Wilker Our hellos and goodbyes–Canadian Writers Who Are Christian

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