St. Barnabas liturgical dancers to perform at UBE conference
St. Barnabas Anglican Church’s liturgical dancers will be performing at the Union of Black Episcopalians’ (UBE) 51st Annual Business Meeting and Conference opening service next week.
They were invited to perform at the conference after their dance routine during the 50th anniversary, which was hosted in The Bahamas.
The conference being held under the theme “Preparing the way for such a time as this: Many people, One Lord!” will take place July 22-26 in Los Angeles, California.
The St. Barnabas troupe traveling to the conference includes Jayel Gibson, president; Laretha Fernander, assistant president; Antoinette Knowles, director of drama ministry; Tenielle Lightbourn, J’kya Turnquest, Makiah Swaby, Drenay Rahming, Ian Davis and Shantavia Moxey; along with Father Donald Kerr, assistant curate, who was honored during the New Providence conference for facilitating the organization’s first gathering outside the United States.
“They could have found many liturgical dancers, but they invited us because they saw us here last year, and they liked what they saw, so they invited us to come along to perform for them.”
The liturgical dance ministry of St. Barnabas Anglican Church was formed in 2003 under the patronage of Canon Basil Tynes. The aim was to use the passion for dance to minister to others. They named the dance ministry “Pure Worship”.
To date the ministry has a membership of over 30 people from as young as age five.
Dance ministry officials say their vision is to seek reverence to God by making themselves available to be used as instruments for his kingdom. As children of God they say they have a love and passion to do his will and glorify his name.
Their mission, they say, is to honor and worship God by encouraging, teaching, ministering and witnessing through the use of creative movements and dance. And that their study of dance technique and various dance genres helps them to work to improve the skills necessary to keep their “temples” physically fit. They say they come together to study the Word of God, continually developing their spiritual growth as they serve and gain an intimate relationship with God.
Their purpose is to minister to the saved and unsaved, deliver breakthroughs and proclaim God’s omnipotent word. And they desire to reach, teach and save God’s people.
UBE was organized in 1968 as the Union of Black Clergy and Laity. The name was changed to UBE in 1971. It is a confederation of more than 55 chapters and interest groups throughout the continental United States and the Caribbean. The Union also has members in Canada, Africa and Latin America.
UBE’s mission is to unite the diverse cultures, concerns and gifts of Black Episcopalians by providing preparation and encouragement for living the Baptismal Covenant and fully participating in the mission and governance of the Episcopal Church.
Its vision is to create awareness within young men and women of African descent about the clergy vocation; to promote strong lay leadership among communities of African descent within TEC and the Anglican Communion; to incorporate fiscal responsibility into the life, work and ministry of UBE; create a systematic approach of ensuring that Black congregations are sustainable and viable within their “vineyards”; and to be a community of vigilance and action regarding matters of injustice, especially the effects of racism in the church and society.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.