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July 15, 2007  Guest The Simba Circle
Program:  Making Choices

The Division for Church in Society, in partnership with the Division for Congregational Ministries and its Outdoor Ministries team, has developed a remarkable program which has proven its effectiveness in ministry among young African-American males, their families and congregations. This partnership has extended from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America into a significant national network of grassroots organizations, coalitions and Christian judicatories concerned with the empowerment and development of ethnic and urban communities.

The Simba Circle is a two-week camping experience that has established a safe place for healing and restoring the lives of young African-American males (between the ages of 10 and 18) since 1993.

The Simba Circle (TSC) connects basic Christian principles with African precepts, proverbs and ethical traditions. We demonstrate how African-Americans have inherited a faith tradition transmitted through the church and through African culture. The revelation of Jesus Christ is given shape and form as African culture is explored and African rituals are shared in the service of the gospel. Candidates are taken out of the community, given instruction, guided in spiritual disciplines and returned to the community through ritual action. We are providing a community for persons who are seeking a more spiritual life. Unchurched youth see all around them "a climate of civility" as they learn conflict resolution, self-respect and reciprocity toward others. TSC openly and consistently models the grace-filled life that our church is called to announce, giving tangible meaning to the gift and the prize of reconciliation through the mediating presence of Jesus Christ.


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