Have you seen the April-July UCUCC Red Wall display? Did you, your child, or grandchild respond to the invitation to make a “paper person” representation of yourself or a Kenyan individual? Our congregation is interwoven with Mwanzo’s story, symbolized by the dolls that are linked hand in hand with student art from Mwanzo Wetu Center of Excellence Academy (MWCEA). Find the drawings that include a “what I want to be when I grow up” statement by the artist. These children aspire to become doctors, astronauts, teachers, lawyers, nurses, and pilots, leading Rabuor into the future. Hope is alive here!
On Sundays, perhaps you enter the UCUCC narthex through the 16th street doors, move to the sanctuary for worship and leave via the same route. Please make a detour to the Red Wall, for as a member of our congregation you have contributed to the Mwanzo story of hope and are part of this celebratory display.
Start near the UCUCC office door, recalling that Mwanzo means “New Beginnings.” The three hundred square feet of Red Wall relate Mwanzo’s story, depicted by over 150 photographs, MWCEA student drawings, biographical sketches of teachers and explanations of Mwanzo’s initiatives. These dreams have been voiced by Rabuor community members, to whom Loyce listens deeply when she visits her childhood village. Stories and pictures are embellished by jewelry and handicrafts from Kenya. There is even an area that invites the participation of children. Read the reflections of the three members of our congregation who have visited Rabuor. Celebrate the generosity of Love and Justice, Sacred Earth Matters, Superfluity and many individual UCUCC members who have supported Mwanzo through its first decade.
The Red Wall display is chronologic, beginning at “Coming Together” – showing pictures of the early preschool that started when Loyce visited her childhood village more than 10 years ago. There she found her mother, Rosemell, welcoming and feeding AIDS orphans, while her father, a teacher, instructed them. Loyce returned to Seattle, and we began working together.
Then “Learning Together” features the two-story school, built by Rabuor’s determined community with Mwanzo’s support. MWCEA has become the focus of life and hope for more than 280 students. Become acquainted with four remarkable Mwanzo teachers, whose first-person narratives are displayed. “Travelling Together” recalls the purchase of a school bus and the excitement of children in nearby villages who can now attend school. “Powered by Solar Together” celebrates the 2021 installation of solar panels and storage batteries, to provide reliable electricity for school and community, just as MWCEA’s rainwater collection, storage and pumping system has provided reliable water for drinking and sanitation. And at “Sewing Together” (with electricity!) photos show women sewing school and scouting uniforms on site with sewing machines purchased with support from UCUCC Love and Justice.
See the “Growing Together” initiates of women’s groups, including microfinance, catering, poultry, the tree seedling program and sustainable vegetable gardening. “Resilience Together” looks to the future of the Community Center, the first floor of which has now been completed.
We can hardly wait to see what the next decade brings! Please consider becoming a monthly sustaining Circle of Hope donor at www.mwanzo.org.
This Red Wall display will remain up through the month of July. If you are attending worship on-line and would like to visit away from crowds, please email or text Rose Morrison, who will be delighted to facilitate your visit.
Rose Morrison, Mwanzo board member