This Sunday was our first Sancocho Sunday, an ongoing series that reimagines the way we worship as a family. Four times a year, we will gather around the table for a dinner-style service and discuss a variety of topics through the lens of different narratives.
This Sunday we explored the Black experience at CCF. Pastor Rich lead the discussion with panelist, Shetara Edden, Cellus Hamilton, and Jonathen Laguer. Cristina Mineo shares thoughts and reflections.
Sancocho Sunday, a day where we as a family sit around the table to enjoy delicious food and discuss difficult topics.
Pastor Rich opened up by reminding us that Christianity is not about following a fundamental teaching or a set of moral principals. Christianity requires us to acknowledge and encounter a person in their experience. This week a panel of three members shared their experience in being African American in our predominantly Latino congregation.
Although the three panelists had different stories to share there were a few common themes in their experiences. One is the realization of being a minority within a minority group, a sub-minority. Panelists also shared that they were not aware of their "blackness" until they came to CCF. Encounters with Spanish phrases and cultural references used in conversations left them feeling disconnected. To have these phrases translated in the moment helped them feel like valued members of the group and not forgotten.
Shetara, one of the panelists, reminded the congregation of how crucial it is to keep African Americans at the table, meaning their voices are sought after, considered and have influence on the final outcome. It is important to do this even when that person may not be sure what they have to offer. She added "CCF's faithfulness to this convo will be measured by how strong the African American voice is in shaping the future."
Pastor Rich closed by reminding us that the Bible makes emphasis of Jesus being from Nazareth, a place with a rough reputation; it therefore matters where we come from and what our experiences are. Proximity offers perspective but it doesn't guarantee intimacy. It is our role as Christians to seek out those who have a different life experiences than we have do, pursue them, learn them and love them just as Christ has done for us.