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21st Century Africana Worship Resources for Trinity Sunday

An Affirmation of Faith for Trinity Sunday

(This affirmation may also be used for Pentecost Sunday.)

I believe in the Spirit of God that swept over the face of the deep and created the heavens and the earth. I believe that this same Spirit swept over the waters of our Middle Passage and created the will to live deep in the hearts of our African ancestors. By God's Spirit did we come to know that we were created by God and belonged to God, even in the days of chattel slavery. I believe in the Spirit of God, the Almighty Creator.

I believe in the grace and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, which has kept us as a people through racism, Jim Crow, lynchings, discrimination, disenfranchisement, and post-affirmative action. I believe that the same Jesus who suffered on the cross and who equipped the apostles with grace in their persecution suffers with us in our tribulations and provides grace for every situation. I know that Jesus is walking with us even now and that God loves us no matter the challenge. I believe in the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe in the Holy Spirit and in the sweet communion of the saints as created by the Holy Spirit. I believe that by the Holy Spirit our ancestors were empowered to found Sunday schools, churches, learning centers, and homes that have given us the foundation for the abundant living that we have been promised. By the Holy Spirit we will be empowered to live in community with one another with love and peace for all. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I believe in a Triune God, who has covered our past, present, and future with grace, hope, and love. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us, now, henceforth and forevermore. Amen.

Meditation for Trinity Sunday
(Marilyn E. Thornton, writer of this meditation, went to South Africa in 2000 with a group of students from Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee.)

There is a tree in Johannesburg, South Africa, that stands in the yard of a Catholic retreat center. When viewing from a particular angle, one sees a singular tree with a very large trunk. From another angle, the tree appears as three distinct trees, down to the very roots. The tree was nicknamed Trinity ?? Three-in-One. The base of the tree became a meeting ground where community was experienced. There, and around its trunks, the deep things of life were discussed. No matter where you leaned on the tree, you were supported. No matter where you gazed upon it, it was beautiful. Three trunks, one tree, inseparable and unified at its base, drawing us into fellowship with one another. It was amazing.

The existence of this tree is a natural and compelling illustration of the existence of our Triune God, a God that operates in community to create community. Whether calling out YHWH, Jesus, or Holy Ghost, it is the Three-in-One God, inseparable and unified, that responds to our every need. No matter what name or office you call out, God will bear you up. No matter where you look, you can see the beauty of what God is doing. God, the Creator; God, the Savior; God Who Empowers, luring us into loving relationship with God's self and with one another. It is just so amazing! Look again, it is one tree down to the very roots.

Choral Response:
Psalm 8: "O Lord, How Excellent," 290,
African American Heritage Hymnal About the Author: Marilyn E. Thornton is the Development Editor of African American Resources at The United Methodist Publishing House and the Director of Christian Education at South End UMC in Nashville, TN.

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