“Testimony of the Baobab Tree” Sets the Stage for Zion Hill’s Rites of Passage Closing Ceremony
Zion Hill Baptist Church invites everyone to witness the joy and pageantry of accomplishment during the 2014 Rites of Passage Program the “Oukumo” Closing Ceremony. This year the program takes its theme from “The Testimony of the Baobab Tree” and will celebrate 54 graduates: 25 Kentake (young ladies) and 29 Adigun Nkosi (young men). These are the youth who were more than curious about the program but enrolled in August, became engaged in the classes, teachings, practices, and lessons taught by the Elders during the three-month instructional period. To quote the Program Director and Zion Hill’s First Lady, Mrs. Sheila Parker, “The Oukumo is an instrument of encouragement to the youth who stayed the course to completion, working together with instructors and with one another”. Now in its’ 19th year, the program is offered to youth throughout the church and the surrounding community at no charge but is provided through the Outreach Ministry of Zion Hill Baptist Church. The ultimate goal of the Rites of Passage Program is to educate and inspire youth to appreciate the significance of their African heritage in harmony with their spiritual awareness of God and their connectedness to others in their communities and the world.
The symbol for the theme this year is yet another authentic representation of the beauty, strength and endurance found in the lives of today’s youth. The Baobab, commonly found in Africa, is one of nature’s oldest and oddest trees, capable of living for thousands of years. It is a symbol of community survival and social connections. For the “Oukumo” it also represents the survival of a peculiar people, under girded by faith and the unfailing connections of community that have sustained and empowered people of faith for centuries.
Afro-centric attire is welcomed or all are invited to simply come as you are and salute the Class of 2014 as they dance, chat, sing and celebrate their rites of passage during the “Oukumo”, Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary of Zion Hill Baptist Church, where The Reverend Dr. Aaron L. Parker, Ph.D. is the pastor and the family is “Living to Love and Loving to Serve”. Zion Hill is located at 6175 Campbellton Road, SW, Atlanta, GA 30331. The “Oukumo is FREE and there is plenty of FREE Parking. The Karamu, the African feast that follows the ceremony, offers plenty of good food that is also FREE. Go towww.zionhill.org, see ZHBC on Facebook or call 404-691-8025 for additional information