Kwanzaa in a Christian Church?


On Thursday, December 29 at 7:00 pm, Unity of Midtown will host a Kwanzaa Celebration.  As we began to plan and prepare for this Prayer & Healing Service I was asked a lot questions.  One question was what does Kwanzaa have to do with Christ?  My response was “Everything.” Anything brings people together for a positive purpose is Christ’s Kingdom in manifestation right here on earth. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).”

Another inquiry was, “Isn’t it too much to have another celebration in between Christmas and New Years’?” My reply was “Absolutely Not!” Different events and activities minister to different people in different ways.  Anything that we can do as a spiritual community to reach out to people and touch their hearts and minds are needed. “He that wins souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30).”

The final question that I received was, “Is Kwanzaa a pagan holiday?” I answered, “No way!” Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana “Ron” Karenga, a professor of Black Studies, in 1966 to encourage African Americans to take pride in themselves, their history and their community. The name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanzaa,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” Each day of Kwanzaa focuses on a positive principle of empowerment.

Join us for this service as we focus on the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, which is Ujamaa. Ujamaa, which means Cooperative Economics.  We are to be self-sustaining by supporting the businesses within our community.  The only way that we can support our businesses is that we have to know about our businesses.

Our recognition and appreciation of Ujamaa we will include music, prayers, scripture reading and fellowship. Thursday night we will give each person 1 minute to tell the church about his or her business or business plan.  The church will then do a blessing of the person and his or her business. After the service, we will have refreshments and a networking opportunity. People will distribute business cards and answer any questions that people have about their business. The service is open to the public and you can sign-up to share as you enter the church lobby. Everyone is welcome. Bring your business cards.

The focus of this festive occasion will be the fourth principle, Ujamaa. Ujamaa means Cooperative Economics.

Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity of Midtown, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg. 

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