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Belonging Again: From Living Fragments to Community

October 24, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 1:00 pm on Sunday, repeating until December 5, 2021

411 MLK & Online 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Biblical stories are often uncritically taught, preached, and composed to music as if they are inclusive of a people’s history and culture when, according to systematic theologian Willie James Jennings, they are actually fragments of them – i.e., bits and pieces of information extracted from the fuller expressions of a people’s life. History tells us that these fragments often represent violent rips and tears from the moral and nurturing centers of a people’s common life. Such violence has led to endless hostilities between nations, and to colonizing structures designed to rationalize and sustain the thief and commoditization of a people’s body, culture, land, family roots, and their god. Oppressive education policies and practices ensure devalued people are sustained under such colonizing efforts.

In what ways do these valued fragments speak to us today? Are they redemptive in nature? Can they be?

During this five-week series, we will:

  • Learn about the history and power of biblical storytelling. Our presenter will guide us down paths that lead to the story behind the story, thereby, creating refreshing aha moments and tools for independent study and relevant methods of interpretation for 21st-century progressive Christian living.
  • Hear from two educators whose research and interests include integrating into contemporary discourse forgotten, little known, or unknown African diasporic living fragments and their impact on American life. Research on the migration to Africa movement will be introduced.
  • Explore how the church’s musical repertoire echoes its theology, history, and culture. The presenter asks, “How does music impact one’s feeling of belonging?”
  • Learn that beneath the surface of our lives, we all carry wounds. Oftentimes these are invisible wounds and, even when visible, they may be unrecognizable. The history and trauma associated with these wounds require a curiosity that leads to understanding, and prayerfully opens a pathway to healing. This series will conclude with ways in which Riverside Church can become a profound pathway to authentic community, hope, and healing.

Series speakers are:

October 24, 2021 – Rev. Michael Livingston, “The Story Behind the Story”

October 31, 2021 – Dr. Mojubaolu A Okome, “You can’t go home no more”: Africans in

America in the Age of Globalization

November 7, 2021 – Dr. Abosede George, “Converging Black Diasporas in 19thCentury

Lagos, West Africa”

November 14, 2021 – Min. Charlene Wingate, “Moving Toward An Equitable Playlist”

November 21, 2021 – Rev. Dr. Debra Northern, “Healing from Within”


October 24, 2021
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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