Sunday, September 20, 2009

Homecoming And The Black Church!

Today's Homecoming at my church...It's one of the highlights of the worship life of southern black churches.... Homecoming not only marked the return of family and friends that had moved from their ancestral homes, but in some instances also goes into end of summer revivals.... It mostly involves a church service that draws returning family along with other members of the community together...After this service, which generally commemorated the history of the church, prominent families and the community as a whole, there will be a dinner...Now these dinners ranged from the traditional church picnic where everyone contributed to the meal and socialized in an informal manner to a more formal meal in the fellowship hall of the church... Homecoming became a time of commemorating the past, reconnecting with family, and the transmission of rituals and history to younger generations. Today many churches have moved away from the celebration of Homecoming, with the Church Anniversary now serving as the main day for celebrating church history and family relations.... Just like Joshua and the children of Israel marked their crossing of the Jordan River with a memorial, African Americans through the celebration of Homecomings and Church Anniversaries have marked the passage of historic events and their progression as a people.... Homecoming, which has its roots in southern/rural black churches, became increasingly important in the twentieth century, as migration became a dominant theme in black families... In the years surrounding World War I, World II and the Korean War, southern blacks migrated in record numbers to the North and West.... These population shifts greatly affected families congregational and community ties....I remember I love to here my grand mother sing this old hymn:

I’m gonna trust in the Lord
I’m gonna trust in the Lord
I’m gonna trust in the Lord till I die
I’m gonna trust in the Lord
I’m gonna trust in the Lord, till I die

Other lines:
I am gonna stay on the battlefield…
Whose going down in the grave with me…
Jesus going down in the grave with me.