News about the Workshops

LGBTI and the Bible

The Ujamaa Centre organizes together with the Gay and Lesbian Community several workshops in different communities to enter into dialogue with people from the communities to speak about Homosexuality and the Bible. 

Two workshops were held, April 16th and May 21st. Both women and men participated. For most of them it was the first time to speak about homosexuality and ask questions. We read Genesis 19 together, a text often used against Gay and Lesbians. The first question asked by rev. Zwane: what have we heard about this text in our churches and communities? After exploring this text we read it again only now we started with Genesis 18, when the 3 man visit Abraham. This brings a new perspective to Genesis 19. 

Estcourt Youth reflect on God and the environment.  

On the 14 April 2015 Ujamaa Centre organized and facilitated an Earth Theology Workshop with a Community of KwaNxamalala in Sweetwater. The workshop was attended by youth, religious and political leaders from the area who are affected by issues of land, climate change and environmental injustices. We had 28 participants in the workshop from poor and marginalized background. 

The workshop was facilitated by Rev Dr Lubunga Wehushe who is  a Post-doctoral fellow in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC) and a Research Associate of the Ujamaa Centre. The workshop was organized by the Programmes Coordinator of the Ujamaa Centre Rev Sithembiso Zwane.

The focus of the workshop was based on the relationship between the Bible and the Environment in the context of economic development. The participants learned about the importance of taking care of the Earth as a source of livelihood that God has given to humanity to manage. Dr Lubunga used the creation narrative to qualify his argument that the "Earth is our home and all its inhabitants, and therefore should be taken care of by its citizens" He challenged the dominant view that most Christian doctrines subscribe to, that 'our home is in heaven' which limit our responsibility in taking 'good care of the Earth' and challenging those that pollute and violet the environment. 

Estcourt Youth discuss Leadership within the African Independent Churches (AICs) 

The Youth of the NDJ Ethiopian Catholic Church in Zion in Estcourt had an opportunity to do a Contextual Bible Study (CBS) on the book of Nehemiah. As a group they were deeply challenged by the different styles of leadership present in the text. They discussed different styles of leadership, autocratic, laissez-faire, and democratic and Narcissist. At least two of these were evident in Nehemiah 2: 1-20, according to the group’s report. This is what the Contextual Bible Study does to ordinary members of the community; it creates ‘safe spaces’ for biblical appropriation from an ordinary reader’s perspective.  

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