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Trailblazers 2014: Claiming Our Roots, Charting the Future: Sankofa Recurring event

Thu, 20 Feb, 2014 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Trailblazers Sankofa

"...All of them died in faith. They didn't obtain what had been promised, but saw and welcomed it from afar. By acknowledging themselves to be strangers and exiles on the earth, they showed that they were looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country from which they had come ,they'd have been able to return to it. But they were searching for a better country, a heavenly one. So God isn't ashamed of them, or ashamed to be called their God. That's why God has prepared a city for them."  --Hebrews 11:13-16 [NRSV]



Union is pleased to announce 2014 Trailblazers celebration, honoring our Black Alumni/ae. This year's events include:

The Henry H. Mitchell Black Alumni/ae Preaching Series - evening services featuring Union's Black Alumni/ae.

Named after the “Dean of Preaching” - The Rev. Dr. Henry H. Mitchell ’44 - the preaching series is a central part of Trailblazers and Black History Month. Lifting up Mitchell's exception model of preaching, the preaching series is focused on delivering powerful sermons that showcase the art of good preaching in the Black tradition. This year we offer an opportunity for current student and participants to discuss the sermon that was preached the night before over breakfast.

Trailblazers Tribute

Held on the last Thursday in February, it is a culminating day of revival, rejuvenation and remembering, as well as a way to honor our Black alumni/ae and their gifts.This day celebrates the unique spirit found within the varied African and African American worship traditions through a panel discussion, breaking of bread, and a celebratory service honoring the Trailblazers in the Union community.

2014 Guest Preachers for the Preaching Series:

Hosted every Thursday at 7:00 p.m., for the duration of the month of February in James Memorial Chapel.

Followed every Friday at 8:30 - 9:20 a.m. by a Sermon talk-back. Sermon talk-backs offer students and participants an opportunity to have breakfast and talk through the previous night's use of scripture texts and preaching.

February 6: Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, ’06

February 7:

Sermon talk-back

February 13: Rev. Carolyn A. Knight  ‘80
February 14: Sermon talk-back
February 20: "Our Story... Our Song" A Festival of African American Hymnody led by
Dr. James Abbington

February 27:

Rev. Carolyn C. Cavaness ‘11

February 28:

Sermon talk-back

Register Online for the 2014 Guest Preaching Series>>

Trailblazers Tribute

February 27, 2014

Lunch 12:30-2:00 p.m.

*Panel Discussion 2:00-3:00 p.m.
For more information about the Panel Discussion please see below. 

Reception 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Reception will be followed by an award ceremony.
Honorees to be announced.

Register Online for the Trailblazers Tribute>>

*Panel Discussion Information
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

"Moving the Body: Black Women, Black Bodies and the 21st Century Black Church”

This panel will discuss womanist theoethicist Eboni Marshall Turman’s ’05, ’08, ’10, groundbreaking new book, Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Marshall Turman argues that the prophetic witness of the black church tradition emerged at the interstices of enslavement and abolition in rebellion against death-dealing acts and practices perpetrated against black bodies in America. Yet, the paradox is that the sacralization of black women’s oppression persists in contemporary black churches that claim theological and ethical commitments to justice for all. This panel will explore the moral dilemma that haunts the black church, what Marshall Turman has asserted as the “theological problem of body,” that is rooted in malformed understandings of the Person of Christ. Discussion of the body problem, namely, sexism and heterosexism, will uncover how injustice too often functions behind the veil of race in black churches, while proposing a provocative new womanist ethic to move the black body of Christ forward in justice-making ways. 
Eboni Marshall Turman is Assistant Research Professor of Black Church Studies and Director of the Office of Black Church Studies at The Divinity School, Duke University.


Trailblazers is sponsored by: the Black Caucus, the Black Women's Caucus, and Fierce, the Caucus for Queer People of Color – Union Theological Seminary; in association with The Office of Institutional Advancement, The Office of Student Life, and The Office of the President.

A Brief History of Trailblazers

In 2001, a few of the African American alumni/ae initiated a Union Black Alumni/ae Association. They reached out to many other alumni/ae that did return to Union for a memorable reunion and reconnected with each other and the institution. It was a few years later, in February of 2004 that the Black Caucus and Black Women’s Caucus of Union hosted the inaugural Trailblazers worship service and celebration.  This formal tribute was the embodiment of the organizers vision to continue the Association’s efforts and build on it, in order to connect the powerful legacy of spirituality and strength among the distinguished list of Black Alumni/ae and the current students of African descent.  The goal of Trailblazers is primarily to provide an opportunity to honor the ministerial work of Union’s Black Alumni/ae as well as provide a forum for ‘organizing’ around important and shared social justice issues. Read More>>

Location: James Memorial Chapel
Union Theological Seminary
3041 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Calendar: Events Calendar
Category: Event


Weekly on Thursday until 2/21/2014
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3041 Broadway at 121st Street, New York, NY 10027 | Tel: (212) 662-7100