Ubuntu is the Pan-African concept of interconnectedness defined in the phrase I am because we are. Ubuntu is a significant theme in the Lily Endowment Grant for Pastor Amy’s sabbatical. Ubuntu is the framework for the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship’s Vital Worship Grants, which UCUCC was awarded. Ubuntu is the sermon series that will shape our fall worship services. All of these intersections means we will have lots of ways to embrace the spirit of Ubuntu in the life of the church.
The Calvin Grant kicks off with a Womanist Storytelling project led by Rev. Yolanda Norton and her non-profit the Global Arts and Theology Experience (GATE). By capturing the voices of Black girls in Seattle, the storytelling project centers Black women and femmes. It is another way our congregation sees the theological gift of a Womanist ethic and one of the ways we live into our calling for racial justice. The storytelling project began late July and will unfold in the weeks to come. The Sunday evening worship on July 24 was a celebration of the work with Rev. Norton as our visiting theologian and our new work with GATE.
Heading into the fall, we look to commitments made on behalf of the congregation for the sabbatical grant. This includes guest preachers, adult education around the African roots of Christianity, and anti-racism training. The Calvin Grant provides financial support to implement these projects.
A new team is forming to manage the fiscal aspects of the grant and to collaborate with ministries and action teams to fulfill these commitments. Look to our website for updates on the team.
The Calvin Grant is a 12 month project, so other pieces planned for the year include: a collaborative project with the Creativity Council for Liturgical Arts, engagement with the Organizing for Mission Network around community organizing (this also follows up on our 2022 Seabeck theme), support for the Intercultural Development Inventory and for GATE’s Black Girl Magic Academy in Seattle, plus a spring revival.
We are excited for the ways this language around connection and interdependence will reinforce the ways our congregation is already engaged and how it builds upon the values we share.
Peace, Pastor Steve