African American Ministries
Mission Statement: The Office is an Archdiocesan office whose principal responsibility is to promote evangelization. The Office services local parishes in their efforts to enhance evangelization, brings needs and concerns to the attention of Archdiocesan leadership, agencies, and institutions, recommends strategies to Archdiocesan leadership to address the evangelization of the African American community, implements programs and initiatives from the National Black Catholic Congress, provides culturally appropriate evangelization programs; encourages leadership among African Americans; and supervises the Harambee Organization.
Evangelization Efforts: Aims at re-building our families, our churches and our communities. The seven principles of the Nguzo Saba is our guide. The "Five Goods" also provide input.
The Seven Principles of the Nguzo Saba With Scriptural Correlation:
- Umoja - Unity
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
"I pray not only for these, but for these also who through their own words will believe me." (John 17:20-24)
- Kujichagulia - Self-Determination
To define ourselves, and speak for ourselves, instead of being defined and spoken for by others.
"By this love that you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples." (John 3:35)
- Ujamaa - Co-Operative Economics
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit together from them
"The community of believers we are of one heart and one mind." (Acts 2:44-45)
- Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility
To build and maintain our community together and to make our brother's and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
"My brothers, you were called, as you know to liberty: but be careful, for this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence..." (Galatians 5:1-14)
- Nia - Purpose
To make as our collective vocation, the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
"The Lord Yahweh says this: on this day I cleanse you for all your sins..." (Ezekial 36:33-36)
"There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under the heaven..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)
Kuumba - Creativity
To do always as much as we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful than when we inherited it.
"There are a variety of gifts but always the same spirit..." (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
- Imani - Faith
To believe with all our heart in our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
"The spirit of the Lord has been given to me for he has anointed me..." (Luke 4:18-19)
"Then he gave the messengers their answers, go back and tell John what you have seen and heard..." (Luke 7:22-23)
The "Five Goods"
A 1990 Gallup Poll Report explored what attracts and maintains African Americans to a specific church. It's findings reveal five strategies.
People are attracted and remain in a church if they experience:
- Good religious teaching (aimed toward adults)
- Good preaching
- Good music
- Good leaders
- Good environment (where they see themselves involved in the salvation plan of God).