Africana Worship Book Year C is Now Available

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Discipleship Resources, publishing arm of GBOD, completes four-volume Africana series.

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The redeemed of the Lord cannot say so unless they know.

The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship Wednesday announced the publication of the Africana Worship Book: Year C, published by Discipleship Resources (280 pages, hardcover, ISBN: 978-0-88177-545-7 Price: $32.00.)

The Rev. Marilyn Thornton, lead editor of African-American Resources at the United Methodist Publishing House and pastor of Emery United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., preached during the All Saints Day and dedication service October 29, celebrating The Africana Worship Book: Year C, published by Discipleship Resources, one of GBOD’s three book imprints.

“We honor God, when we tell the story. Africana liturgy teaches us to honor the lives of the saints. To tell the story of the saints is honoring an ancient art that engages the hearts and minds and of all the senses,” said Thornton.

Africana is the term used to describe those persons, regardless of where they live, who can trace their ancestry back to Africa.

“How can African-Americans tell the story of God’s deliverance without knowing or referring to Africana heritage, without knowing about or celebrating the saints that went on before in the path of deliverance,” asked Thornton, a contributor to each volume in the series.

“More than 30 writers of African descent have answered our call to articulate the common faith through the lens of African experience,” said the Rev. George Donigian, editorial director of Discipleship Resources.

“Through storytelling, we are bound together in a common narrative and systems of belief and spirituality, methodology and value structure. We’ve got to tell the whole story about Jarena Lee and Julia Foote who preached even though black men who clamored for their own freedom refused them freedom. We must tell the story of Leontine T. C. Kelly the first black female bishop in any denomination,” says Thornton.

As Donigian introduced and dedicated each volume of The Africana Worship Book series, he presented them to Associate Editor, Safiyah Fosua, GBOD director of invitational preaching, who lovingly held them in her arms, as a mother holding her infants.

“The results have overwhelmed us and the worldwide community of faith has been given an opportunity to ‘overhear’ the sacred conversation through the publication of four distinct volumes: three books of liturgy written to support the use of the Revised Common Lectionary for years A, B and C, and a fourth volume with essays on worship in the black church,” Donigian said.

Drawing on Psalm 107:2-3, which states, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.”

Thornton said the text admonishes that the redeemed of the Lord should say so. “The story of God’s deliverance is peculiar and particular to the heritage of the people.” she said. “The redeemed of the Lord cannot say so unless they know.”

“We honor God, when we tell the story. Africana liturgy teaches us to honor the lives of the saints. To tell the story of the saints is honoring an ancient art that engages the hearts and minds and of all the senses,” Thornton said.

Following the pattern of the two earlier Africana volumes, this book offers calls to worship, litanies, choral readings, confessions, creeds, benedictions, and many special prayers. Africana Year C includes resources for special days, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Juneteenth Day, World Communion Sunday, and All Saints Day.

Edited by Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua, Africana Year C contributors are: Maxine Allen, Eugene Blair, Gennifer Benjamin Brooks, Carolyn W. Dandridge, T. Anne Daniel, Joseph W. Daniels, Jr., Junius Dotson, Bryan K. Fleet, Sharletta Green, Cynthia A. Bond Hopson, Sherrie Dobbs Johnson, Ray Jordan, JUDAH PRAYZE, Kwasi Kena, Darlene A. Moore, Toni Payne, Tony Peterson, Jeanette Pinkston, Ciona Rouse, Kelvin Sauls, Kevin Smalls, Lillian Smith, Marilyn Thornton, Cheryl Walker, Brian Courtney Wilson, Stacey Cole Wilson.

This hardcover book includes a bound-in CD that includes interviews and comments on the series from Bishop Linda Lee, Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Eric H.F. Law, Rudy Rasmus, Tyrone Gordon, and others. As with the earlier editions, users may cut and paste materials from the CD for use in congregational worship.

The Africana Worship Book: Year C
General Editor: Valerie Bridgeman Davis
Associate Editor: Safiyah Fosua
7 5/16” x 9 1/4”
280 pages, hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-88177-545-7
Price: $32.00

GBOD’s mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, GBOD is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit http://www.gbod.org, or call the Media Relations Office toll free at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 7017.

NOTE: Photographs are available at http://photos.gbod.org

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