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University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association (CETA)
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Caribbean Church History Caribbean Theology Biblical Hermeneutics Indigenous Religions Apologetics Counselling in Multicultural Contexts Personality Theories Child & Adolescent Therapy
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Testimonials ROBERT BECKFORD, PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY & CULTURE, CHRISTCHURCH UNIVERSITY This magazine is an important step in globalising the theological meaning of the Jamaican language and its contribution to global politics, culture and spirituality.
DAVID CORBIN, PRESIDENT, CARIBBEAN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY Following their period of exile in Babylon, the Israelites returned home. One of the things that encouraged them was to hear success stories of their people as recorded by post-exilic writers. Having understood what had happened among their ancestors, they wept for joy. The same is true when a people realizes the richness of their heritage and integrate those expressions of appreciation in their worship. In essence Jo-Ann Richards Goffe has taken time to understand the richness of our heritage and has integrated her expressions of appreciation in her worship to God. How privileged we are to be a part of this remarkable experience. My wife and I pray Godâ€™s blessing on the ministry and more specifically on the launch of the magazine. Hallelujah!
SYLVIA GILFILLIAN, EDUCATOR & AUTHOR Thank you for your courage in launching the Kom Mek Wi Worship Magazine. I believe that you are in the stream and flow of a movement that is seeking to restore the dignity of our people and that of indigenous peoples who have been colonized and fractured, their ways appropriated and caricatured for material gain. For several hundred years, Creole speakers have been demonized and diminished, especially in that sacred space of worship. You have stepped out in faith to lead us into worship, singing our songs and talking our talk. Because of your boldness, I am inspired to continue my own creative work as a writer in the Jamaican Creole Language. p
What this magazine does and will continue to do is to give voice to the Jamaican people. We can silence people by taking away their language, and we can silence people by taking away their language of praise, but I want to underscore the importance of the Jamaican Creole - the heart language of so many millions of persons - being reinforced in worship here in Jamaica, and abroad. Do not ever let anyone take away the language that God gave you! God has created musicians and artists to be the prophets of the future for the church. We continue to give voice to this generation, and the next generation, and the generation after that. So speak for Jamaica. Speak for the people who do not yet know or understand that God does know Patwa â€Ś and He knows it better than you! Music in World Cultures stands strongly with you and with the Jamaican people in your ministry!
Dr. Stephen Benham Director, Music In World Cultures
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Editorial .................................. 6 In Search of My Roots.................... 8 Trees with Roots............................ 11 Music that Captivates and Transforms the Heart.................... 12 ‘Nisa’ St. Hillaire: Break Through Gospel Artiste............................... 14 Vox Pop: Using the Reggae Rhythm in Worship........................ 17
The Church and Culture.............. 20 Join CREW 40:4............................. 24 Kom Mek wi Worship Im & Lov Gad Music Scores........................ 27 Interview with Trinity & Kareen Clarke............................................ 28 Health Column............................. 32 Reclaiming Dance in the Church .............................. 36 A CREWShall Testimony............... 40
Jamaica Meets Ghana............... 42 Poem - Light & Night, Black & White.............................................. 44 KIDS - CREW.................................. 46 Devotional..................................... 50
Editorial symbol speaks to. I’m especially excited to publish the words of Bishop Jonathan Jackson from the UK, as he shares thoughts on raising culturally conscious kids as a father of Jamaican parentage. We also have our children’s story coming from Sylvia Gilfillian this time around, with a cliffhanger ending, and our devotional comes from a very special young lady with a huge heart for God and His people, Rene Lambert.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Isaiah 127:3 (NIV) Our children are special! They are gifts from God, and they have meaningful roles to play not just in the future but in the here and now. One of my pet peeves is hearing people say our children are our future. This is not completely true; they are also our present! KW Magazine does not want to leave them out of this global conversation about worship and cultural identity. Heritage is therefore the focus of this second issue of the magazine. How do we take the good things from our past and teach these lessons to our children? This is what the Ghanaian Sankofa 6 | KW Magazine July 2019
We wanted this issue to include those things you, the reader, identified as things you wanted to see included as much as possible, and even things you didn’t say, but to which I hope you will in hindsight be able to say: “I really wanted that too!” A CREWShall Testimonial is one such thing. NoraGaye Banton has been known to me perhaps from before her birth and it is a pleasure to have her not only interning with me as a communications student at the University of the West Indies, Mona, but also writing the very first testimonial about the impact of the ministry of CREW 40:4 on her life. Again at your request is a feature from another country in the region, this time Barbados. 13-yr old singer and minister Trinity Clarke has been thrilling hearts and souls with her amazing voice and style, and in this issue of the KW Magazine you get to meet her and her mom, Kareen.
KOM MEK WI
Volume 1 - Issue 2 Well, let me get out of the way and allow you to enjoy this adventure. Hope you enjoy the Vox Pop; that was Nora’s idea! Also, I hope you take the health corner very seriously, and that you will give Jacqueline Chin-Depass’ recipe a try! We’re so excited to share that we officially launched the KW Magazine on Monday June 10 at the Jamaica Theological Seminary in Kingston. Although less than 50 people were in the room, we have to date had almost 11,000 views of our live video on Facebook! Again there is a special call being sent forth - do you have a product, a service, a project, an event or a business that you would like to introduce to the world? Contact us at kommekwiworship@ gmail.com now to find out how you can take advantage of this opportunity to share your products with the world! Also contact us if you have an article that you think would be great to share with the KW Magazine tribe! Our plan is to extend this conversation beyond the pages of KW. Join us on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. EST on our Facebook - Kom Mek Wi Worship page, where we introduce issues and topics from the magazine, and connect them with the Word. Sankofa … Kom Mek Wi Worship! p
Kom Mek Wi Worship Magazine is a quarterly publication of CREW 40:4 - a non-profit entity based in Jamaica, whose mission is to spread the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ through culturally relevant expressions of worship. The magazine’s aim is to facilitate conversations about worship and cultural identity among Christ-followers on the African Continent and in her Diasporas.
Disclaimer: We may not agree with all views expressed by contributors or interviewees. Telephone: + 876 820 0258 e-mail: kommekwiworship@ gmail.com Website: www.crew40-4.com
Kom Mek Wi Worship
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Tim Swain Leader. Educator. Artist. Co-Founder, Anadiso 360 Corp.
In search of
My Roots In 2007, I visited Africa for the first time and it was a dream come true. It was one of the most surreal and unforgettable experiences of my life. I was part of a seven-week leadership immersion experience with The Impact Movement, a nonprofit organization that empowers leaders of African descent. Prior to this, I only dreamt of going to this great continent and I knew very little about it. In fact, I always referred to 8 | KW Magazine July 2019
it as just - Africa. It was the black blackness, and unfortunately it’s man’s Mecca, a distant place that rare this reminder derives from perhaps someday I’d see. a culturally appreciative context. It’s seldom a blatant disapproval After my initial trip, I realized that based on skin color. Most of the other black people and I had time it’s a subtle reminder that similar experiences. Here are a few. you’re simply different. From the Welcome Home: This was by lack of representation in popular far one of the more prevalent media, to the overexposure of greetings. This, and Akwaaba, fractures within your community, to which means welcome. Being in the inability to simply find the right Ghana was like going back to a kind of hair products, you’re always place I’ve never been for the first reminded that you’re different. Not time. Yes, you read that correctly, in Ghana. I was simply American it was like going home for the first and for the first time I truly felt like I embodied King’s vision to time. be judged by the content of my All Black Everything: For the first character and not the color of my time in my life I was immersed in an skin. Words cannot describe how all-black society. I was part of the beautifully emancipating it was to majority and boy did it feel good. simply BE. I mean great! I mean amazing! I mean utterly incredible! Words My Affinity With African Culture For centuries cannot express what it felt like to Strengthened: see people who looked like me on we have been presented with billboards, television programs, in a historically anorexic narrative the streets, in the classroom and about our history. Essentially, we practically everywhere. Sometimes are taught we are the descendants you never know what you’ve been of slaves. That’s where our history missing until it’s returned to you. begins and is most significant. Going to Ghana made me realize Going to Ghana, visiting the slave how amazing it was to be in an castles, talking with educated ethnically and culturally diverse Africans and learning more about African history helped me realize majority black population. my people were not slaves; they I Wasn’t Black, I Was An American: were Africans who were enslaved. Simply being an American was one That’s a big difference. Slavery is of the hardest adjustments I had only one aspect of my history, not to make. Most black Americans, the complete and full context of it. especially men will agree they Knowing this was intellectually and are constantly reminded of their culturally revolutionary. July 2019 KW Magazine | 9
I Became Unapologetically Black: Gaining historical perspective concerning my people’s sense of charisma, language, love for music, spirituality and other aspects of black culture equipped me with the cultural esteem to move towards celebrating my identity instead of frequently apologizing for it. I now tell people I’m unapologetically Christian, unapologetically black and unapologetically a man. Simply put, I’m unapologetically ME.
of starvation, living in spiritual desolation, those uncivilized, savage people-you know Africa. For the most part Americans are severely undereducated about other nations. I was surprised when I met Ghanaians who knew more American presidents than I, knew more about my economy and had a level of cultural fluency that surpassed that of most of my peers and I. It was a sobering reality that we do an immensely disheartening disservice of miseducating and under educating our children As An American I’m Extremely about other nations, especially in Privileged: As the saying goes, Africa. sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. The Just as America has many states average American, regardless with even more diverse cultures, of background is extremely ideas and characteristics so does privileged. Whether it’s running Africa. It’s a continent with over water, food access, or the ability 50 countries which are all very to freely travel internationally; different and equally unique. we are privileged and blessed. Visiting Ghana left me with an If we don’t like the service at a even stronger desire to explore my restaurant, department store or history and unfortunately I cannot shopping center we can take our rely on the traditional American business elsewhere, but what you education system to teach do if “elsewhere” isn’t an option? me. Since arriving in America, Different countries like Ghana still Africans and the descendants experience very real challenges of enslaved Africans have been such as the lack of employment, trying to rediscover who they restricted education opportunities are and desperately reconfigure and resource shortages. the shattered remnants of their identity. Who we are as humans We Are Remarkably and as black people begins in Undereducated About Other Africa. If you’re trying to find who Nations: As a child I was constantly you are Africa is a great place to exposed to images about Africa; start. Sankofa! p you know Africa: people dying 10 | KW Magazine July 2019
Trees with Roots Raising Culturally Conscious Children in the UK
people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey Born on May 15,1969 in Burslem, Stoke On Trent, I was like a tree without roots. As wonderfully Jamaican as my parents were we had no idea about our roots and culture. The idea that we were the children of Jamaican parents whose ancestors were originally from Africa was a shameful secret to be kept. We had a Jamaican life at home and church, and a British life at school. Our precious Black Pentecostal church was the stable little village where everything happened. It served as a community hub connecting families and children. We didn’t have black history lessons or cultural celebrations or references other than to people and places in Jamaica. Today with all that competes for the attention of our
children, our spiritual and cultural agenda for them is crucial. The greatest source of cultural knowledge was Reggae Music. The greatest fear of our parents was that we would leave home and become Rastafarian. However, those powerful songs about slavery and oppression would be a gateway to education and knowledge.
Preserving our legacy
Today our children know they will be taught culture and history in a positive way. Our biblical reflection focuses not only on Jerusalem or Israel; but also on Africa and the Caribbean. In an age where beauty is based on skin colour and tone we help our children see the beauty of who they are as black children who are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Ps 139:14 Rev. Dr Martin L. King Jr. gives direction to every British parent with his statement: Continued on page 49 July 2019 KW Magazine | 11
that captivates and transforms the heart
By Peter Nwufo, Ethnomusicologist, SIL Nigeria
usic plays a prominent role in the Christian community in Africa. When Africans meet to worship they sing their hearts out.1 Some years ago, we organized a music concert in a Nigerian church and experimented with some music styles. We started with European hymns, followed by American styles of music, then highlife and ended with Nigerian indigenous music. We were astonished by how the congregation were more captivated with indigenous music than foreign tunes. We repeated this experiment other times and got the same result. This made me develop an acronym called C.H.R.I.S.T., which came out of deep thought from over 30 years’ experience in music. 12 | KW Magazine July 2019
This article is a brief explanation of how it applies to music that captivates and transforms the heart.
– In the book of Genesis, God created the heavens and the earth and we were created in God’s image. Therefore we ought to be creative too. To be creative is to be original, inventive, resourceful, ingenious, innovative and artistic. Any music that is void of creativity cannot captivate the heart of a person. We are in an era where most bands and choirs especially in the church have lost their creativity but concentrate on singing other people’s songs or singing “copyright” as it is called in Nigeria. This explains why creativity is found more outside the church. James Krabill’s
article, “Six Stages of Music Development in many Sub-Saharan African Faith Communities” 2 shows how African Christians reacted to foreign music through importation, adaptation, alteration, imitation, indigenization and internalization. Only creative musicians can captivate the heart of their audience.
music – Travelling around Nigeria and other parts of the world also gave me an understanding of captivation through “heart music.”Heart music is the one that when played the listener begins to participate whether consciously or unconsciously. I attended some wedding receptions in Nigeria and discovered that most people connect more to their indigenous music than foreign tunes. A colleague of mine testified how more people attended their church during “African Praise Day” where traditional dresses and traditional songs were allowed for worship. What is your audience’s heart music and what are you doing about it?
- An appropriate song captivates the heart more than a general song. In Nigeria, music varies according to the occasion and when inappropriate music is played it becomes noise to the audience. Therefore, the church needs to find out the appropriate music for their community. They can ask questions like what music is played at what time? How is it played? Who can play it? Where can it be played? And many more ethnographic questions which will help in discovering the right music. For example, the burial of an elderly person is accompanied with soft music in Northern Nigeria while it is
a big celebration with loud music in the Southern part. A relevant choice of music captivates the heart.
- All music is inspired by something which determines the behavior pattern that follows it. Have you wondered why some music incites sexual immorality, drug abuse, violence and other evil vices while others inspire repentance, peace, joy, devotion to God, correction, admonition and teaching? Each of these ‘musics’ were either inspired by God or the Devil. “…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matt 7:17) Some musicians get their inspiration from evil spirits or drug abuse or secret cults, while Christian musicians get their inspiration from God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God …” (II Timothy 3:16 NKJV). Therefore, if people must be captivated and engaged by our music, we have to be inspired by God through the Holy Spirit.
songs – Many people have testified to the fact that their lives have been transformed through listening to Scripture songs. When musicians compose scripture songs it inspires and captivates the heart because it is God’s word. This is true about the Nigerian church as most of the Christian musicians who are highly revered sing scripture songs. Scripture songs have aided meditation and memorization of God’s word and even literacy. This aspect is dying out in Christian music today and needs resurrection or revival. Most of our contemporary songs today only focus on
Continued on page 52 July 2019 KW Magazine | 13
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‘Nisa’ St. Hillaire
n the previous issue of the KW Magazine, Trinidadian artiste Genisa ‘Nisa’ St. Hillaire was introduced to our readers, with the promise of more conversations with her. Music sociologist Meagan Sylvester takes us deeper through the lens of her paper on Womanhood, Femininity and Gender Justice – The black female body as performer in the Caribbean. Here are some excerpts. Paper Abstract: This article takes the position that music communicates gendered meanings. It focuses on female performance across the specific music genres in Trinidad and Tobago, namely Calypso, Jazz, Rock, Neo-Soul and Gospel. Nisa is one of five women who were selected for this study which employed the qualitative methodological approaches of phenomenology and case study.
Here are Nisa’s own words establishing her approach to stage performance as it relates to womanhood, femininity and gender justice. Womanhood “Truth is, I have always had bittersweet resolutions with regard to this topic. Unmistakably, anytime a woman does or achieves anything, I fear it will be regarded with a ‘note’ of, because whether learnt, or taught, we’ve always been defined as the weaker sex. So things that a woman may feel naturally proud about accomplishing, automatically becomes astounding, not natural.” Femininity “Being a Christian entertainer/ minister, dress code is overtly important. I’ve evolved for the most July 2019 KW Magazine | 15
part however. I used to wear a lot of big dresses in the beginning of my career, partly because I genuinely love the old time big dress look, but also due to the fact that I didn’t want any attention drawn to my physical body. I’m totally aware of what comes with that, especially in gospel … I have in many, many ways learned to still dress in ways where I can feel feminine and good about what I look like. I have some hips going on... not too, too much which has been a problem for me, but I never dress in a way that I feel like would bring desecration to my character.” Gender Justice “I think it’s just the way of the world. And it’s unfortunate. I don’t think there is a grave injustice, but there is a grave difference in the way the both sexes are treated. In many cases, I’m not sure it’s something planned, but people in society automatically respond differently to differing genders, because of perception. Some rightly perceived and others … what we’ve been fashioned to think. I would like to see women treated with the same respect, on and off stage.”
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Conclusion Upon reviewing the response of Ms. St. Hillaire it is noted that issues related to Womanhood, Femininity and Gender Justice in Trinidad and Tobago reveal an interesting dynamic involving religion, issues of respectability and male domination. Calypso music not only is male dominated but also has the issue of the race as critical to its on-stage display. Although there have been males of mixed races participating in the competition, this art form has been dominated by AfroTrinidadians in the main. For women then, attempting to break the barriers has been challenging. Women as a performing group, following in Calypso Rose’s path have usually tended to dress in a respectable fashion so as to ensure that the sanctity of the woman in Calypso is seen as a mother, soothsayer and sage as opposed to a vixen or temptress. p Meagan Sylvester Department of Behavioural Sciences Faculty of Social Sciences The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.
Reggae Rhythm Using the
In Our Worship In an attempt to hear the views of Jamaicans about culturally relevant worship, KW Magazine asked the following question to a random group of Jamaicans.
The sample varies in terms of gender (50:50), social class, denominational background and age.
“What are your thoughts on the use of the reggae rhythm during worship?” Answers: I think using reggae instrumentation is absolutely fine during worship. It’s all about the message, and if God’s message can be delivered or communicated through reggae to people then there should be no problem at all. - R. Lyons Hmmm, I am a bit opposed to it but if the words are Godly and it’s not similar to (an existing) reggae song then it might be ok. - T. McKenzie
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I don’t have any problem with the use of reggae, since now there’s gospel reggae and there are some artistes who were associated with reggae, but after getting saved they use it in a manner to worship God instead. - S. Johnson Well, for my denomination (Seventh Day Adventist) I’d only use it for song service but not for praise and worship. For that you would need more subtle and consecrated music. - B. Graham I strongly support using the music of our culture to express our heart’s worship to God. We were created uniquely in different cultures with different rhythms and styles and I believe that the music of our culture is an expression of who we are. However, I do not support the notion that we replicate the same styling of secular reggae songs and adjust the lyrics to reflect “gospel lyrics”. That just seems like a cheap way of expression to me, and our God is a very creative God who wants to give us new sounds and rhythms to worship Him. Hence, I believe, if we’re genuinely worshipping God then our music will not sound like the secular even though it is the same genre. - D. Grant It’s ok to me, but people might start run go church fi di reggae an’ not fi God cause yu know how people tan. - P. Maynard
It shouldn’t be a problem, as long as it is bringing glory to God. Reggae is a Jamaican beat, and so using it is just another means of embracing our culture. Too often our Jamaican music is broad-brushed as being secular as opposed to cultural. - J. Murphy
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When I hear reggae, I hear secular. Secular and church should not be mixed. I worship at an Anglican church and I could not imagine “Toast” (hit song by Jamaican reggae artiste Koffee) being played for communion. Time and place for everything. While Christians can appreciate reggae the church isn’t the platform to air it. - T. Simmonds Reggae rhythm has its place, but I don’t think it’s appropriate in a worship service. This is a time of magnifying God not self. Reggae rhythm causes selfjollification. - S. Fearon As is the case with the words of prayer or preaching, the music that is to be used to worship God must come from the heart of the worshipper. My heart music is the music that I’ve grown up in/around, and that is a mix of old hymns, popular rhythms (including mento, ska, R&B, Country & Western, reggae) and ‘classical’ music. They all come natural to me, so I use them in my worship of God. Music is a gift from God, and when I use the term ‘music’ here, I’m referring to the tones, pitches, rhythms that make up the ‘sound’ of music. Whereas the text in a song can carry specific messages that may be doctrinally wrong, or evil in itself, the same is not so of the music itself. Few persons, if any, would associate the tune of “When mothers of Salem their children brought to Jesus” with a drinking song, but that was its origin. The words have so ‘sanctified’ the tune that it would be considered a righteous tune (if ever there was one). I anticipate that many years from now, calypso and reggae songs will evoke great spirituality in worshippers as they become associated with the act of worship. I do believe that reggae music, has a real (not just novel) place in our worship experience. - G. Taylor p
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Cultural Relevance | Cultural Relevance | Cultural Relev
Cultural Relevance | Cultural Re
Church and Culture
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The specialists will forgive my working definition of culture as “... the time-honoured (enduring), accepted way of life of a people.” Here I am thinking of a broader base of people and the accepted way of life of such over time than what is the lived reality of a subculture within a section of society. I suggest two notions about culture for consideration. Culture is not absolute but relative, not static but dynamic. Our culture then, whoever we are, is simply what is descriptive of us not what is prescriptive for others. How we respond to culture may be different but all responses deserve examination. One may respond with complete acceptance of culture based on the belief that what has been for a while as culture, is from the people and thus okay. But is this necessarily true? Even the most open-minded analyst of culture will have to admit that there are some aspects of culture that are not commendable, like say survival
by stealing (cf. praedial larceny) or corruption, very entrenched in many sections of Jamaica and defended by the Jamaicanism, “a so di ting set”. Okay? I think not. Another response from many Christians is uncritical [or complete] rejection of culture. Out of ignorance, some argue that all of culture is from ‘the pit of hell’ and must be rejected. It amazes me how easily we speak about aspects of hell without any biblical or other grounding for our ideas. I suspect that some of us confuse what we do not like with what God could not bless or use. Unless we are privy to what the devil likes we should be careful about assigning aspects of culture to him. As a trained and lettered musician in so-called, ‘classical music’ I have had to offer an informed polite caution to Christians who are too glib in pronouncing on what is ‘not of God’ re music or other art forms. Again, my humorous point is “you cannot equate your taste with God’s taste unless you think you are the 4th member of the Trinity in which case we have very serious theological problems!” What I recommend to all with regard to responding to culture is critical engagement of culture. This engagement is by two means: 1) by Informed analysis via criteria for evaluation plus progressive maturity July 2019 KW Magazine | 21
Cultural Relevance | Cultural Relevance | Cultural Relevance
everal years ago I shared on this topic in a Church because I find that Christians tend to have an instinctive suspicion about things dubbed ‘culture’ whereas non-religious folk, especially if they are social scientists, tend to convey an instinctive high regard for things dubbed ‘culture’. But what is culture really?
in taste and 2) By involvement while examining motive and means, all the while seeking to ascertain all the relevant facts before judging finally. I explain further. By informed analysis via criteria for evaluation I am suggesting that we ponder the basic point that some aspects of culture are amoral (neither good nor bad in essence), other aspects may be immoral and yet others perfectly wholesome. These are basic criteria for evaluating aspects of culture. Tunes and rhythms, in my view, are basically amoral though not impotent but songs as such (given the lyrics) can be correctly declared as immoral or wholesome. There is no sinful C sharp or sanctified G. Hence no combination of notes forming a tune can be defensibly described in moral terms. There is no sinful or sanctified beat hence no combination of beats forming a rhythm can be defensibly described in moral terms. Sure you may respond differently to one kind of rhythm as opposed to another but the commentary is properly about your response not about the rhythm itself. Regardless of the stimulus, “my response is my responsibility”! Rhythm, because it affects your central nervous system, is powerful but is still, in my view, amoral in essence. I recall chiding a Seminary group for applauding a visiting Jewish group after they had sung songs 22 | KW Magazine July 2019
about Jerusalem and Israel in Chapel but the said group would have a problem if a group were to sing in chapel a Jamaican patriotic song like ‘One more Jamaican gone abroad’. Maybe I just need Jesus but the fact that Jamaica is not in the Bible does not make a Jamaican patriotic song less spiritual than a song about Jerusalem. The issue of maturity in taste has to do with the fact that as we gain more knowledge about a particular thing we can better appreciate the nature of that thing though we may still not be inclined to utilize it or love it. Youth and adults who claim not to like hymns in Church are often very ignorant about the nature of hymns. After even a crash course on the background and musical/ lyrical nature of hymns their taste matures a bit though they may still prefer choruses. There is a trickier dimension to maturity in taste and this has to do with “...[learning] to distinguish between the subject matter and the artistry of the work, between its content and its form...” as one specialist puts it. Years ago some of my brethren including a respected clergy colleague took objection to the sculpture in Emancipation Park with one describing it as disgusting. I suspect because the lady’s breasts are not within a brassiere. There is great unquestioned artistry/ skill behind the sculpture. Admit that, even if you have a problem
with its content - partial nudity. I don’t care much for classical organ music but I know and appreciate the consummate skill behind Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue in D minor and the courage required to attempt to perform it. With reference to the involvement component, self-examination especially in Church circles is key for me and one’s motive for involvement can be all of self or genuinely geared toward educating/entertaining or ministering. With certain Christian audiences one needs to educate before or while utilizing the art form while in others it is best to try to
inform pure and simple long before even attempting to utilize the art form. It is never wise to pronounce against a person’s use of a particular cultural element without seeking to gather as much of the available facts as possible. Give people the benefit of the doubt, you rarely if at all lose anything in the process. p
Rev. Clinton Chisholm, Academic Dean, Caribbean Graduate School of Theology
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and still going strong
Join the CREW 40:4 Performing Arts Team!
Season 1 - CREW 40:4 Performing Arts Team, April 2018.
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The purpose of the CREW 40:4 performing arts team is to be a practical, public model of cultural relevance in worship.
Members of CREW 40:4 Performing Arts Team function on a voluntary basis. Reimbursement will be provided for out-of-pocket expenses as requested and when deemed fit. From time to time, monetary gifts will be given to members as funds are available. Costumes and light refreshment for rehearsals may also be provided, as well as meals and transportation for retreats and extended rehearsals
VALUES Love Unity Spiritual Growth Excellence Creativity REHEARSAL SCHEDULE CREW 40:4 Performing Arts Team rehearses on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m. However, when we have an engagement on a Sunday, we may adjust the rehearsal time. Additional rehearsals may be scheduled as deemed necessary. RETREATS 1 or 2-day retreats will be held twice per year to assess progress and plan the way forward. DEVELOPMENTAL WORKSHOPS 2 - 3 hour workshops are held once per quarter to develop the talents of members.
ROLES The manager of the team is the Executive Director of CREW 40:4, who may delegate responsibilities to members of the team. In addition to offering their artistic talents, members may serve in one of the following capacities. • Band Director • Vocal Director • Record Keeper • Treasurer • Wardrobe Manager • Transportation Coordinator • Hospitality Manager • Equipment manager • Decor Coordinator • Promotions Manager N.B. Each member is asked to be prepared to help out in other areas as the need arises.
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When there is an opening, an announcement will be made through Social Media and other spaces. Interested persons go through a process which includes:
Members may withdraw membership at any time by giving a minimum of 30 days’ notice in writing. At any time, the Board of CREW 40:4 may ask a member to step down or have their contract terminated if it is assessed that they are not maintaining the values and commitments laid out in the contract.
Completion of an application form
Submission of two references
An audition which includes: 1. An interview with the Executive Director and one other member of the board 2. A solo performance 3. A performance with the other members of the band
Persons who are accepted are asked to make a commitment of 1 year, renewable, by signing our information sheet.
CREW 40:4’s COMMITMENT The organization is committed to supporting the development of the members of the team. Membership will afford you the benefit of exposure in local and international spaces, and a recommendation at the end of your tenure providing you performed your duties with diligence and faithfulness. Be adventurous and apply today by completing our online form here. https://forms.gle/iAagcVxFDB34nPZY7 p
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The two songs we are sharing in this issue were both written for children in inner city communities in Jamaica. As we are looking at passing on a Godly heritage, we pray that these songs will be a part of a global movement for persons of African heritage to teach our children true worship.
Kom Mek wi Worship Im
Words and Music by Jo-Ann Faith Richards-Goffe, Music scores by Yekengale
Words and Music by Jo-Ann Faith Richards-Goffe, Music scores by Yekengale
July 2019 KW Magazine | 27
Teenage Bajan Gospel Artiste and Her Mom Kareen Clarke 28 | KW Magazine July 2019
KW: Kareen, the first question is for you - How old was Trinity when you discovered that she was exceptionally gifted in singing and how did you make that discovery? Kareen: Trinity was 3 years old when I discovered this gift. When I would transport Trinity to school or be driving anywhere, we would sing in the car for fun as part of our bonding time. We would compose fun songs while in transit. It was from these mother-daughter activities that I discovered this talent, along with the fact that she was constantly singing everything and watching and imitating me. KW: Trinity, can you remember the very first time you sang in public, and what song you sang? Trinity: Yes. I sang my first recorded and written song ‘SHOW LOVE’ at the Barbados Music Award, where I won an award for being the youngest recording artist. I was 5 years old. KW: When did you meet Jesus personally? What was the encounter like? Trinity: I went to see, The Singing Christmas Tree at The Peoples’ Cathedral, in January 2012 and when the Pastor asked those who wished to accept Jesus Christ in their heart I raised my hand and then went to the altar. I was 5 years old. In September 2015, I was
baptized with water and before that I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was 9 years old. KW: 12 years old is an age when you are focused on school and friends. How do you balance your schoolwork and social life with your professional world? Trinity: I don’t. I don’t know what that is because my mummy would tell you I love to play too much. But my mummy somehow manages to make it work out that I can play, sing, do my school work, study, browse the internet and play some more. lol KW: I heard you were doing the CSEC Music Exams this year. At 12 years old that is quite an accomplishment! I know preparing for that exam is no small feat. Are your friends as intense as you appear to be with regard to education? Trinity: Not really! My friends are just regular preteens in that they are not intense about any school work. Who likes school work? I’m 12! Lol; but they wish me well and support me all the time. KW: I’m sure people your age are curious to know … what do you do for fun? Trinity: I love going to the movies, going to the beach, playing online games, visiting our virtual reality July 2019 KW Magazine | 29
stations, dancing, travelling, track and field, gymnastics, singing, reading adventurous books, watching animal documentaries and going to my favorite restaurants Chefette and The Lucky Horseshoe. KW: Kareen, you have clearly been doing an amazing job of raising Trinity to be a child of faith. Did you have any challenges in also raising her to be a culturally conscious person? If so, how would you describe them? Kareen: Trinity is a Caribbean girl. So as part of her development it is important to me that she is understanding the differences between herself and people from other Caribbean countries. Promoting this leads Trinity to insightfulness, the ability to function effectively in other cultures, respecting the values and attitude of other cultures, reducing cultural barriers and avoidance of making bad decisions. Her cultural awareness exercises include, practicing good manners, good communication skills, observing and listening to foreign people far and wide. This is easy for me as Trinity is adventurous and delights in learning, listening, tasting and speaking new things; occupying her senses! For example, in her first trip to Jamaica, along with trying to speak like a Jamaican, she thoroughly enjoyed the food. 30 | KW Magazine July 2019
She sampled the National dish, Ackee and Saltfish. Now ackee for Jamaica is not ackee for Barbados. What we call Ackee in Barbados, is called Guinep in Jamaica. So that was a reality check for her. We had authentic Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat with white rice, Festivals, Bammies Jamaican Patties and the sweetest and juiciest mangoes ever! So by this experience she learnt that even our foods are different and similar. On a musical note, when Buju Banton came to Barbados, that too was an educational experience for her as she is aware that Reggae music originated in Jamaica and that Reggae is received and respected internationally because of Bob Marley. She also was taken aback by the way the Reggae artists chanted as we call it in Bim but Jamaicans call DJ-ing. Buju Banton is a Legend in the Caribbean; a lesson she is aware of. KW: Trinity, who is/are your favorite Caribbean artiste/s, past or present? Trinity: My favorite Caribbean artists are Nikita the orange haired songbird, Alison Hinds and my mummy Kareen Clarke (Barbados), Destra Garcia (T & T), and Koffee, Buju, Stefflon Don and Romain Virgo (Jamaica). KW: I noticed you shared stage recently with Jamaican reggae
king Buju Banton! What was that experience like for you?
of all the accolades you’ve been receiving?
Trinity: I was shaken and mesmerized by him. He performed so well and for such a long time. Plus I was the only 12 year old at that concert. So the experience was unforgettable. I was there to perform but for my mummy, that was an assignment for my development. She wanted me to witness a Caribbean Legend live and to learn what I could from it.
Trinity: I keep being grateful and thankful and kind to everyone and my mummy insists on it as well as having an active prayer life.
KW: You will be representing Barbados at the, World Championship of Performing Arts in California this summer! Congratulations! Trinity: Thank you. KW: Can you identify three secrets to your success? Trinity: 1. Praying without ceasing 2. Practicing – It makes you better and better 3. Performing with all your heart. KW: And can you identify your greatest area of weakness? Trinity: Performing in front my school peers or children on a whole. I get very, very nervous because they can be my biggest critics even when they applaud.
KW: Kareen, as her manager and mom, how do you protect Trinity from potential dangers of being in the public arena? Kareen: I am a praying mother who is a manager. So when she is not with me I am forever lifting her up before the Lord. When we are out together, I am very vigilant. In addition, Trinity’s social media activities are monitored and supervised by me. KW: Trinity, we will give you the final word - What message would you like to send to young people your age, to help them to stay grounded as Caribbean youth? Trinity: I would say to them always depend and trust on God. Be brave. Be respectful. Be kind. Love God and Love yourself and others. These characteristics make you a humble person and a courageous one. Finally, get involved in a charity and serve others that are less fortunate. p
KW: How easy is it for you to maintain your humility in the midst July 2019 KW Magazine | 31
Health Column Crowded Together?
Keep it moving
here are thousands of people suffering with chronic constipation. The word ‘constipation’ comes from Latin and it means “crowded together.” The bowels should move daily, ideally, after each meal. When this does not happen, waste material moves too slowly through the large bowel. Elimination becomes painful and toxins are reabsorbed by the system, placing an overload on the liver and kidneys. All waste in the body should be expelled within 18-24 hours after consuming meals.
32 | KW Magazine July 2019
What causes constipation? Common causes include a low fiber diet, repeatedly ignoring the urge to go, not drinking enough water, and a lack of exercise. Constipation also has other, less-well-known causes, including certain medications and supplements, as well as potentially serious medical conditions. 1. Painkillers, specifically narcotics, can cause constipation. 2. Certain components in vitamin supplements such as calcium and iron, can be a problem.
3. Some laxatives work by stimulating bowel activity. Such stimulant laxatives should be taken only as directed.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both can cause cramping, weight loss, bloody stools, and other health problems. Chronic diarrhea is a common symptom of both. However constipation can be a problem too. REMEDIES
4. A diet high in dairy and other lowfiber/high-fat foods such as eggs and meat can slow down your digestion. The obvious solution? Cut down on (or completely cut out) such foods and increase fiber intake to 20 to 35 grams a day from fruits, vegetables, seeds, ground provision, nuts, and grains. 5. Antacids are great for fighting heartburn, but some can cause constipation, particularly those containing calcium or aluminum. 6. Constipation can be a side effect of some common drugs used to treat high blood pressure, such as calcium channel blockers and diuretics. Diuretics, for instance, lower blood pressure by increasing urine output, which flushes water from your system. However, water is needed to keep stools soft and get them out of the body. 7. Antihistamines used to treat allergy symptoms can be a problem too. 8. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes two chronic conditions -
Aloe It’s benefits aren’t just skin deep, it is known to soothe minor cuts and burns but it can also soothe your tummy. It’s best to use pure aloe vera gel from the plant. The gel straight from the plant is more concentrated than commercial aloe juice so don’t use more than 2-3 tablespoons at any one time. Prunes Perhaps one of the most classic cures for constipation is prunes or prune juice. The fruit works as a natural laxative because it has high amounts of fiber and contains sorbitol. Blend ten prunes with 1 tablespoon flax seed in 1 cup water, drink ½ in the morning and the other ½ just before bed. Slippery Elm Bark Powder I tablespoon of the powder blended in 1 cup water and a medium sized ripe banana. Drink in the morning 30 minutes before breakfast. p Dr. Debra Williams, ND Medical Missionary and Healthy Lifestyle Educator. Health Director - Life, Health & Foods Wellness Center. Shop #13 Santa Maria Building, 17-19 Main Street, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica W.I. Tel: 1-(876)-378-0053 or 326-4650 website: www.debrawilliamsja.com
July 2019 KW Magazine | 33
Presenting Chef, Jacqueline Chin Depass. Her new book Easy Cuisine for Living Well is now out. It is a testimonial of how eating well translates into living well. Here she shares her morning boost with you to get you up and going in the mornings without the cliff hanger of caffeine. It’s sugar-free, rich in fibre and nutrient-packed. For many more healthy meal options see her book Easy Cuisine for Living Well. Eat well, live well, enjoy!
• Lose weight without dieting and starving yourself. • Caffeine and sugar free morning energy booster, packed with vitamins and minerals. • Testimonial of losing 80 lbs and the reversal of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Contact Jackie at 07452834592 or join her CUISINEASE group on Facebook. 34 | KW Magazine July 2019
First Course for Breakfast (Single Serving) Ingredients • Chia • Flax seeds • Oats
Better than coffee, because you won’t ‘crash’
• 1/4 teaspoon psyllium husk powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water. • 1/2 to 1 cup of any plant based ‘yogurt’ with live cultures • Blueberries • Strawberries • Almond slivers
Method 1. Simply soak chia and flax seeds with oats, 1/2 to 1 cup yoghurt cultures, blueberries, strawberries and almond slivers.
July 2019 KW Magazine | 35
Reclaiming Dance in the Church
36 | KW Magazine July 2019
he debate about the acceptability of dance as a form of worship within the Church is not new and no doubt this dialogue will continue but within the Caribbean context one woman who has opened up the discussion, pioneered the way for the expression of dance in the context of worship in the Church is - Cynthia Patricia Noble. She is OUR Esther of Christian dance as worship and has reclaimed indigenous dance forms to the Church in particular, Reggae and other African derivatives. She has formulated a new dance. What is the new dance? “It is a dance of restoration, reconciliation and transformation…” Cynthia Patricia Noble. “..the steady rise of the Ministry of Dance from a place of obscurity to now a place of prominence. It is now a true art form in the church and in the wider society. Thanks in great part to Cynthia Patricia Noble. In her humility she would never accept such an honor, however her body of work speaks loudly to all that God has indeed called and anointed her to do in this generation.” 1 Patricia Noble is a graduate of Shortwood Teachers’ College and holds a Diploma in Dance in Education from The Edna Manley School of Visual and
Performing Arts. Aunty Pat, as she is affectionately called by past students and their parents alike, tutored dance after school classes at Jessie Ripoll Primary School Kingston. She saw the social and spiritual transformative impact upon the children and parents and her classes soon outgrew Jessie Rippoll. However, Aunty Pat had her comeuppance when one night while performing at, The Little Theatre, in Kingston, Jamaica; God asked her audibly, while waiting in the wings, “Who are you edifying when you are dancing like this?” Pat Noble went into a corner and said, “God, anything you want me to do, I will do.” “This mighty woman of God obeyed God and as a result was dancing in church long before dance was considered appropriate or even considered a real ministry. She has defied great personal odds and has pioneered a path in the area of dance ministry throughout the Caribbean and beyond.” 2 Aunty Pat, was called into fulltime Christian dance ministry in 1996, when she founded, Praise Academy of Dance; the flagship where other talented Christian dancers would train as an alternative to secular institutions. Her objective being, to hone talent into a skillful and anointed gift that God could use, teaching dancers July 2019 KW Magazine | 37
the talent there and many more abroad as they toured Africa, Australia, the wider Caribbean, the USA and the UK.
how to offer their gift to God as a living sacrifice of worship to the Lord of the Dance. The Academy’s creed was based on, 2 Timothy 1:6, “Fan to Flame the gift of God in you.” So, Praise academy has been, “Blazing a Trail for the Lord of the Dance,” ever since. Ordained as a minister of dance in 2005, she served at the Portmore Lane Covenant Community Church as the head of the dance ministry. She is also the founder of Praise Academy of Dance, Barbados and Trinidad and presently holds the position of Artistic Director of Praise Academy of Dance, Jamaica. 26 Years later Praise Academy of Dance has many accomplishments under their belt: • They have held over 40 concerts in Jamaica, many in the inner city, bringing needed exposure of 38 | KW Magazine July 2019
• Chronicled in her book, The Journey Continues, are testimonials of miracles and spiritual outpouring by the powerful ministry of anointed dancers at Praise Academy everywhere they go. I highly recommend this as a handbook for those who are desirous of serving God in the area of Dance. • In October 2011, she received the Bronze Musgrave Medal for recognition of her contribution to the field of dance from the Institute of Jamaica.
• She also received the Flame Award from the International Christian Dance Fellowship Foundation, based in Australia, in July 2012 for her outstanding service to Christian dance ministry on an international level. • In October 2014 Cynthia received the Badge of Honour for Meritorious service for contribution to culture in the area of Dance and Culture from the Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen.
• In October 2018 she received the Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Divinity from Grace Hill Bible University in the State of New Jersey, USA.
“Many books have been written about worship, with an emphasis on voice, drama, and instruments. Yet, not much is either seen or said about dance. Even in our Caribbean context; the use of our God-given, indigenous creative expression is often seen as “not of God” and therefore was strictly opposed in many traditional and non-traditional settings. For those and other reasons, literature pertaining to the use of reggae and or any dance associated with that genre, as a “legitimate” form of worship has been largely ignored…until now.” Who better to give voice and insight to these two incredible gifts of God, than Pat Noble, a humble servant of God, whose journey continues as one who is a trailblazer in the area of Christian dance ministry.” 3 Extract: The Journey Continues:
experience where Adam and Eve had fellowship with God. Here is where I learnt to trust His heart and realised how important dance is to His heart. He listens to our desperate cries of ‘why not someone else.’ But when His purpose is to be carried out He will chase you until you become pliable in His Hands for the redeeming of a culture created for His glory.” 4 p
“I was arrested by the Holy Spirit as one of God servants to help to redeem the dance and return it to its original position, where God intended it to be. Redeeming a dance means redeeming a culture. This is the time that God is restoring all things for His Glory.
 Pastor Dino Nicholas, Foreword The Journey Continues.
The process is tedious, stressful, tearful and painful but memorable. During this time you begin to understand the love of God and reflect on the Garden of Eden
 C. Patricia Noble, Introduction - The Journey Continues.
 Dave & Marcia Weekes, Artistic Director & Managing Director of Praise Academy of Dance, Barbados. Foreword - The Journey Continues.  Howard Anthony Roach. Praise and Worship Leader. Foreword - The Journey Continues.
By Angela B. Slack educator, curriculum/ literacy specialist, technical author, editor and publisher. July 2019 KW Magazine | 39
A CREWShall Testimony
By Nora-Gaye Banton. 40 | KW Magazine July 2019
’ve been working with Jo-Ann for quite some time now; even before CREW 40:4 and before the whole notion of culturally relevant worship became clear to me. The initial stages of working with her saw myself and my friend Najee Stewart accompanying her on djembes as she sang and read scripture from the, Jamaican New Testament. At this time I was doing it to minister, but there was no specific intention in mind. I say this because at that time I did not fully understand the seriousness of worshipping with your heart language and how it can allow a sense of liberty during the worship experience. Eventually the group CREW 40:4 came about with more members and the topic of Culturally Relevant Expressions of Worship became more frequent in our conversations. It was during this period that I fully understood what it meant. I grew up in a church where the European style of worship was dominant. There are times however, when Jamaican/ Caribbean songs and rhythms are incorporated. Let me give a bit of background before I continue. My church is located in what we would call an “inner-city” community, aka ghetto. I should also note that the majority of the members are not from the community. I would
always wonder why this was so but never stopped to really find out. When I came to understand more about worshipping with our heart language and in a culturally relevant way, things became clearer to me. How can we be in the heart of a community where the first language of the majority is patois (this is how the people communicate on a regular basis) and expect them to gravitate to our church when we are not using their language? A place where the words they hear and the songs we sing are in a language that is not truly at the depths of their heart? I don’t claim to be the most intellectual person but I have a fairly good command of the English Language and there have been times during the sermon when I am oblivious to what is being preached! Now imagine the people of this community? I believe they will be more receptive to the gospel if it is shared in a way that they can appreciate and in a language they can clearly understand. Working with CREW 40:4 has taken me to many different spaces with varying styles of worship. Through this ministry, I have heard the stories of several individuals who came to appreciate the Word of God being shared in a language that they identify with Continued on page 52 July 2019 KW Magazine | 41
Image of Monument & Tomb for Unknown Soldier Independence Square, Accra, Ghana See video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCn40CtN47o
42 | KW Magazine July 2019
Operation Save Jamaica is a charity organization based in Jamaica whose goal is to facilitate people in making a difference in their area of expertise in ways that create change. They operate Street Pastors Jamaica and partner with different organizations to see community and national transformation. Their director is Bruce Fletcher, former elder at the Christian Life Fellowship in Papine, Kingston, Jamaica. Following Operation Save Jamaica’s staging of the second Christian Diaspora Conference in October 2018, where a delegation of Africans delivered ‘The Apology’ on behalf of their forefathers’ role in slavery, the focus on Africa and her diaspora regions is now increased with the announcement by the President of Ghana that 2019 is the Year of Return to mark the 400th year of the first transatlantic slaves leaving Ghana. In Jamaica, the Minister of Culture has given full endorsement of this declaration stating at a press release on 27 January 2019 “Jamaica looks forward to a successful Year of Return and we will work with Ghana towards a successful year. Jamaica observes the International Decade of People of African Descent and so it is all very timely that we work together.” Jamaican born Marcia Weekes, 2018 Christian Diaspora speaker, is producing the film JOSEPH in honour
of the Year of Return, to be premiered in Ghana later in 2019. These plans support the Media, Entertainment, Music and Arts focus of Operation Save Jamaica, and outcomes of the 2018 Christian Diaspora Conference as well, enabling current discussions on Jamaican-Ghanaian engagements. The Government of Barbados has also endorsed the Joseph film, and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Her Excellency Catherine Afeku in her visit to Jamaica in January 2019 said it was important to begin the Year of Return programme for the Caribbean in Jamaica. The Ghanaian Minister also encouraged Jamaicans to make a pilgrimage to Africa, beginning with her country, even once in their lifetime. Minister Afeku who was at the press release on 27 January said “Ghana is opening its arms. Ghana is opening its doors. We want you to come and take a heritage that belongs to you. So it is not a favour, it is yours. We are here to assure you that you can make a home on the continent starting with Ghana.” If you would be interested in visiting Ghana as part of a trip during The Year of Return please contact email@example.com. (Adapted from Christian Diaspora News, Operation Save Jamaica, April 11, 2019). p
Bruce Fletcher Director, Operation Save Jamaica. July 2019 KW Magazine | 43
Light & Night, Black & White Featured in the book: “The Light and Black I Am” by Denise Antoinette Simpson. © 2010
Light! And God said “Let there be light!” God gave this gift at creation. Known as day it gives the symbolization Of recreation, clarification and purification. Light manifests God’s presence It was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day, And in a pillar of fire by night where the Israelites lay. Light blazed in awful grandeur Surrounding Christ on Mont Sinai, showing God’s favour. It rested over the mercy seat in the tabernacle, And shone on the hills where angels told shepherd of God’s miracle. Light, a dazzling gift Night! God saw that the darkness covered the face of the deep. Before there was light, night existed without company. Known as darkness, it gives the air of mystery, Promoting secrecy, uncertainty and non-identity. In God, there is no darkness at all But whilst in Him no night dwells, The most thrilling experiences in darkness, the Bible tells. Moses drew near the thick darkness 44 | KW Magazine July 2019
where God stayed, After He thundered the Ten Commandments and the people were sore afraid. Remember that night Peter walked on water at Christ will, Or that darkest night, the tempest raged and He said, “Peace be still” It was at night, while kneeling in Gethsemene Christ choose you and me and walked to Calvary Night, an awesome gift. Together, night and light joining Creates the most picturesque scene, or the perfect setting for bonding Consider when night gives way to day Or when day gives way to night When they kiss, the sky applauds with colourful bliss Their sunrise and sunsets, the work of a great artist Or Consider the time a man plans for his woman Or when a woman prepares for her man For many, the most suitable setting, Is one of candle lights, a dark room and the rest you can imagine. What lessons then do we find from these God given times? Night and light give invaluable
insights On the possible union of black and white
Massaged with oil to make it shine Yes! In Our Father’s eyes I look divine.
Don’t you remember what happened to our fathers? Haven’t you heard what they did to our mothers? Because of a slave society, They lost all sensitivity For their own identity Thus, given over to sustained inferiority We now chain ourselves in mental slavery.
And: Fair I am, and nothing takes away my right I am bold, I am beautiful, I am white Applaud me, my sister Appreciate me, my brother The colour of my eyes that matches the sea The red on my cheeks that shows I am in glee. My hair is straight and smooth and long It tussles at the slightest nod, or when the wind whistles a song Yes! In Our Father’s presence, I belong.
But in our time of night We have this hope for light To resolve the situation between black and white. So while the whole creation Is subjected to this frustration It waits in eager expectation When God steps in and made another declaration “Let there be light with night? For in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, black nor white, slave nor free, As where the Spirit of the Lord is, hallelujah, there is always liberty.
Let us not, in applauding our own identity Make the same mistake in prejudice and seal our children’s destiny Ebony needs ivory, and ivory needs ebony. Playing with each other, we make perfect harmony.
Therefore: Dark I am, and nothing I lack I am young, I am gifted, I am black Applaud me my sister Appreciate me, my brother The fullness of my lips The swell of my hips My course, tight curled hair in knots and twins
Perfect foils for each other Reflecting God’s beauty with no bother And God smiles and says as he usually would, Look at my creation, Look at my children This is “Good”. p
And so remains this divine right Light with night, black with white
July 2019 KW Magazine | 45
Educator & Author
Black Like Me: Part 1
A young Jamaican girl learns to accept and love her dark skin
Characters: The children: Cheryl, Rae, Phillip, Ebony and Raquel The adults: Ebony’s parents and Uncle Natty Setting: A church yard near Half - Tree, Uncle Natty’s yard in the hills and Ebony’s home off the Washington Boulevard
Ebony is sitting in the back of the family car and she is humming with restlessness. Her father is driving, and they are heading down Red Hills Road toward Half-Way-Tree. She wants to get to church to meet up with her four best friends to show them her new tablet but to her, it seems like her father is driving very slowly. “Do Daddy, drive likl faster no!” Her father kept his eyes straight ahead but when he spoke he was stern. “We are in no rush and I will not break the speed limit. It is Saturday morning and people are out shopping. What’s the big rush, anyway?” “I want to show my friends my tablet before we start rehearsal. I want to take a selfie.” “Cho! You and yu selfie tekin. Is how much pitcha yu tek aredi? “Cho Daddy man. Drive up di kyaar so dat we kyan get to church early for once.” 46 | KW Magazine July 2019
Ebony’s father sucked his teeth loudly and reminded her that he was in charge. When The car got to the church, Ebony dashed out, shouted, “Bye Daddy!” And was through the gate in a flash. Ebony’s four best friends were already in the church hall as were most of the members of the children’s choir. She was soon surrounded by Cheryl, Phillip, Raquel and Rae. Ebony urged, “Mek wi go si-dong at di table at the back. Mi have somting fi show unu.” All their faces lit up with curiosity and Rae snatched Ebony’s bag. “Mek mi si a wa in de.” Ebony snatched back her bag and soon they were seated and watching Ebony with curiosity and excitement. Ebony lost no time in pulling out her brand new and very shiny red tablet and placing it on the table. Phillip was the first to speak. “A fi yu?” Raquel ran her hand over the surface and declared, “Wish it was mine. Is yu birthday present?” Ebony answered,” Yes, is mi birthday gift from mi auntie a New York. Mi breda get one too.” Ebony opened the tablet and showed her friends that it had come preloaded with several games. After they all looked at the tablet, Ebony said, “Mek wi tek a selfie?” All five were soon in a tight semi-circle and Ebony held the tablet aloft and took three pictures. When Ebony showed her friends their grinning faces, Phillip announced, “Laad Ebony! A di fos mi si se a so yu black. If yu tiit dem never white, we wudn si yu at all.” Suddenly Ebony snatched up her tablet and ran off to the front of the room. Cheryl took off behind her and soon caught up with her. She was alarmed when she saw Ebony’s shoulders shaking and realized that her friend was crying. When she tried to say something, Ebony turned to her angrily and said,” Lef mi alone Cheryl. Yu did a laaf tu. Yu tink mi never si yu?” Cheryl hung her head and walked away. July 2019 KW Magazine | 47
Ebony put away her tablet and sat quietly in a corner until the choir director arrived and rehearsals began. She sang with the others but her heart felt empty. After the rehearsal, Phillip touched her on the shoulder but she shrugged him off and walked by herself to the gate to wait for her mother. When Ebony’s mother arrived she could tell at a glance that all was not well with her normally chatty daughter. After Ebony climbed into the car and fastened her seat belt, her mother met her eyes in the rearview mirror. Ebony quickly looked away but not before her mother saw that she had been crying. She didn’t say anything and the two drove home in silence. When they got home, Ebony’s mother said quietly, “Go wash your hands and come for your dinner. Your brother has a football match and we are going.” When Ebony returned from the bathroom, she joined her mother in the kitchen and saw that she had laid out soup with hardough bread and butter on the round, wooden table. Normally Ebony would have been happy to see two of her favorites but today her stomach felt hollow and she had lost her appetite. Her mother saw her lack of enthusiasm and grew very concerned. “Ebony, what’s wrong? You know you can tell me anything.” She soon grew alarmed, however, as Ebony burst into tears, jumped up from the table and ran into her room. Her mother found her curled into a fetal position and crying her heart out. She scooped up her daughter, put her on to her lap and holding her close to her heart, she whispered, “Ebony sweetheart, please tell me what’s wrong. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me.” With tears falling unchecked, Ebony looked up at her mother and asked in a small voice,” Mommy, am I adopted?” “Child, of course not. Why yu would ask such a chupid question?” “Mommy, if yu a mi mada and Daddy a mi faada, wa mek mi so black?” Ebony’s mother went silent and then she spoke very firmly. “ Laad Jiizas. Not again. There is only one way to deal with this. Time for us to go up to the hills to see Uncle Natty.” (To be continued). 48 | KW Magazine July 2019
Continued from page 11 - Trees with Roots and compassion. In my experience this has been the place of the Black Church “I have a dream that my four little and its social circle of influence. children will one day live in a nation Custodians must be wise enough to where they will not be judged by the record all the details of the Caribbean color of their skin, but by the content of life to give to the children who need to their character.” find a new solid ground of identity. The British education system or culture We give them a new reality which says is not responsible for the education of you do not have to choose culturally African Caribbean children as it relates which side to be on. You are blessed to their existence and significance. That to have a combination of cultural responsibility lies with the custodians experiences that make up who you of that history - their parents. We are are. The position therefore is to use all the fathers and mothers who train and the cultural experiences to build your nurture our children with love, the character and inform your choices. secret ingredient. Our children are the gifts that create a heritage (Psalm 127:3-4), a powerful way to transfer history, wisdom and knowledge, and culture. To make our children a heritage we hold them close and mentor them in the things nobody else can, like our cultural sayings and our fireside stories.
Living in a dual reality
The images, voices, language, laughter and contention found in the Caribbean streets and markets were not present in Britain. We were British at school but at home we were Jamaican - food, church, language, rules. Deeply unique and special, this was our safe place in a very harsh white world with undercurrents of racism and ignorance. Although more subtle, those undercurrents are still around so the safe place is vital for them; a place to discover great cultural wisdom through their elders, expressed with deep love
My biased position is to be very ‘sankofa’ - taking value from our past into our future. Digging deep into strong cultural roots will not only build us but will sustain the future. My task as a father of two beautiful girls, a husband and a minister is to build a home filled with cultural wisdom and Godly principles. The next circle is to collectively build a church village that will nurture cultural wisdom and identity. The divine elements will be forged in the idea of God in Jesus standing with us as our Saviour and Creator of all our cultural heritage from Africa, to the Caribbean and to the UK. p Bishop Jonathan Jackson, Senior Pastor, NTCG Brookfield (The Rock), UK July 2019 KW Magazine | 49
By Rene Lambert Jamaican teenager living in the USA
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Yahweh (our God, Creator and the One who is the I AM that I AM) is more than just ‘a guy in the sky’. He is the being that created us in His image and likeness. (Gen 1:27). He calls for all mankind to worship Him. What exactly does it mean to worship God, though? Here are a few of my thoughts gathered throughout my life of being a Christian. Worship is the activity of glorifying Yahweh (our Creator and also our ‘Abba’/Daddy) in His presence with our minds and hearts, sometimes expressed in various aspects of physical action, such as singing, dancing, kneeling, crying joyfully, etc. We also worship Yahweh by the things we do and say in our communities (the people we interact with). “A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).” John 4:23-24 (AMPC) This means that worship is not just a religious facade to show that you are ‘going to heaven’; it’s about a deep, personal relationship with your God. Culturally speaking, it is important for me to express my worship to God in a manner that deeply expresses the real me. I’m Jamaican and while I love to listen to worship songs by various foreign artists, there is nothing more real to me than singing and dancing to my Jamaican worship music. There is an authentic vibe that comes when I get to express my gratitude in a manner that is deep and rich in my culture. Worship is a conscious decision to take the time to communicate with your heavenly Father. Elohim (Creator) made us with the ability to worship Him out of our own desires, not on His demand. Though His word earnestly encourages us to worship Him, God does not force us to. We should all view Yahweh as strong and mighty, because He possesses these characteristics. Let us not forget however, that He is Abba (Daddy). When we know Him as a perfect Father, it is easy for us to draw near. p
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Continued from page 11 - Music that captivates and transforms the heart.
praise and worship which is good but can be better if they express scriptures. Col 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”.
Transformation – After playing music
for several years, I discovered that my real satisfaction came from seeing people accept Christ through my music. The essence of our praise and worship songs is for people to reverence God. The essence of our special songs is to speak God’s word using music. The only difference between a preacher and a Christian musician is the melody the musician puts to the words. There are even times that music penetrates the heart without lyrics. If people must change, then we
must abide in Jesus and His word. With the help of the Holy spirit our songs will bring transformation. In conclusion, if people’s hearts must be captivated and transformed, we have to be creative by singing heart music that is relevant and inspired by God through the Scripture. C.H.R.I.S.T in our song today. p  Thomas Oduro 2008 “Church Music in the Life of African Christian Communities” quoted from “Music in The Life of the African Church” by Roberta King et al, Baylor University Press, Waco, Texas 76798, 92.  James R. Krabill 2014 “Culturally appropriate music” An article in “Mission Frontiers” U.S. Center for World Mission vol. 36. No 5/September 2014, 13-15 Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
Continued from page 40 - A CrewShall Testimony
and worshipping in a way that comes naturally to them. When I share these stories I am often misunderstood, so let me set the record straight. I am in no way saying we should stop worshipping in English because it is not true to us. I know that there are Jamaicans who can rightly say that English is their first language and I can say without a doubt that there are songs done in a European style that will minister to people, and that will allow people to worship from their heart as is the case for me on several occasions. What I 52 | KW Magazine July 2019
am saying however, is that there are Jamaicans out there who have never fully understood the words in the Bible; who have never had a true worship experience; who have never truly worshipped from the bottom of their hearts. This is because when we ‘do church’ it is done from a place that does not come naturally to them. To the pastors, worship leaders and Sunday school teachers I say, give it a try; especially for those who come into contact with innercity communities on a regular basis. p
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54 | KW Magazine July 2019
JO-ANN FAITH RICHARDS
Singer/Songwriter, Author, Transformational Speaker, Ethnodoxologist. PASSIONATE DELIVERY ON TOPICS SUCH AS: - Church Music & Cultural Identity - Worship & Social Justice - How to Read The Jamaican New Testament PRESENTATIONS INCLUDE:
Real-life stories, songs in Jamaican language and music, as well as readings from the Jamaican New Testament. AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL BOOKINGS contact Jo-Ann @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 876 • 820 • 0258 www.joannfaithrichards.com
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One of my pet peeves is hearing people say our children are our future. This is not completely true; they are also our present! KW Magazine...
Published on Jul 1, 2019
One of my pet peeves is hearing people say our children are our future. This is not completely true; they are also our present! KW Magazine...