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Soul Pearls encourages reflection and empowerment within the congregational community.

In addition, each  topic provides a scripture text, quotation from a prominent African American



Soul Pearls: Worship Resources

for the Black Church

By Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan


Throughout history, the black church has consistently been a place where African Americans turn, not only for spiritual growth, but also for emotional support -- particularly when living in the midst of a society that often devalues and limits them.

In Soul Pearls: Worship Resources for the Black Church, Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggen offers a year's worth of worship resources designed to help pastors and worship leaders address the ongoing need for emotional support and encouragement that occurs specifically within African American congregations. Organized around 52 topics of significance to African Americans, such as community, heritage/culture, family ancestors, freedom, race, dignity, self-worth, and disappointments. Soul Pearls encourages reflection and empowerment within the congregational community. In addition, each topic provides a scripture text, quotation from a prominent African American, reflective commentary, prayer, litany, and benediction that is suitable for use in corporate worship, Bible Study, special day programs (for example, Women's/Men's Day), sermon preparation, or other church meetings or bulletins.

Black pastors know that a part of their responsibility is to encourage hope and renewal in their members each Sunday as they prepare to go back "into the world." Soul Pearls is the resource that will help them do just that.--Publisher 


Soul Pearls is a set of gemstones for building and accentuating worship celebrations. Kirk-Duggen has molded, gathered, and now offered a resource that boldly affirms the integrity and beauty of God's diversity. This is not only for the Black Church: this is a gift to the whole church.--Vance P. Ross, Senior Pastor and Chairman, Convocation for Pastors of African American Churches Design Team


The Reverend Kirk-Duggen has done an absolutely outstanding job of capturing the essence of the human spirit on paper. Whether used as a worship resource or read for personal spiritual renewal, Soul Pearls is a "must have" for the church universal and the Black Church in particular.--Lydia Jackson Waters, Senior Pastor, Crossroads United Methodist Church, Compton, California

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Soul Pearls: Worship Resources

for the Black Church

By Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan







Part I: Balanced Living
1. The Body/Sensuality


2. Community


3. Evangelism


4. Food/Eating


5. Freedom


6. Health


7. Heritage/Culture


8. Laughter


9. Recreation/Play


Part II. Communal Living
10. Funerals


11. Marriage


12. Reunions


13. Sacraments (Sacred Rites)


14. Worship


Part III: Emotional Landscapes
15. Anger


16. Death


17. Disappointment


18. Doubt


19. Fear


20. Grief


21. Life


Part IV: Empowerment
22. Accomplishment/Achievement


23. Education


24. Entrepreneurship


Part V: Human Virtues
25. Dignity


26. Music


27. Responsibility


28. Sexuality


Part VI: Institutions
29. Family/Ancestors


30. Prison


Part VII. Sociopolitical Focus
31. Class


32. Gender


33. Leadership


34. Politics/Power


35. Protest


36. Race


Part VIII. Spiritual Wonders
37. Blessings


38. Creation


39. Creativity


40. Forgiveness


41. Glory


42. Grace


43. Joy


44. Justice


45. Love


46. Mercy


47. Ministry


48. Mystery


49. Prayer


50. Self-Worth


51. Soul/Spirit


52. Testimony


Scripture Index


Subject Index


Soul Pearls: Worship Resources for the Black Church Abingdon Press / Attn: Publicity Department / 201 Eighth Avenue South / P.O. Box 801 / Nashville, TN 37202-0801 / or Nancy Selah  (615) 749-6751

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Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan is Director of the Center for Women and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and Assistant Professor of Theology and Womanist Studies. She is author of Refiner's Fire: A Religious Engagement with Violence (Fortress Press, 2000), Exorcizing Evil: A Womanist Perspective on the Spirituals (1997), and African American Special Days: 15 Complete Worship Services (1996). She is ordained in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.'s 25 Best Selling Books



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The Price of Civilization

Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity

By Jeffrey D. Sachs

The Price of Civilization is a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, offering shortsighted solutions such as stimulus spending or tax cuts to address complex economic problems that require deeper solutions. Sachs argues that we have profoundly underestimated globalization’s long-term effects on our country, which create deep and largely unmet challenges with regard to jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America’s single biggest economic failure, Sachs argues, is its inability to come to grips with the new global economic realities. Sachs describes a political system that has lost its ethical moorings, in which ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpower the voice of the citizenry. . . . Sachs offers a plan to turn the crisis around. He argues persuasively that the problem is not America’s abiding values, which remain generous and pragmatic, but the ease with which political spin and consumerism run circles around those values. He bids the reader to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another.

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The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

By Pauline Maier

A notable historian of the early republic, Maier devoted a decade to studying the immense documentation of the ratification of the Constitution. Scholars might approach her book’s footnotes first, but history fans who delve into her narrative will meet delegates to the state conventions whom most history books, absorbed with the Founders, have relegated to obscurity. Yet, prominent in their local counties and towns, they influenced a convention’s decision to accept or reject the Constitution. Their biographies and democratic credentials emerge in Maier’s accounts of their elections to a convention, the political attitudes they carried to the conclave, and their declamations from the floor. The latter expressed opponents’ objections to provisions of the Constitution, some of which seem anachronistic (election regulation raised hackles) and some of which are thoroughly contemporary (the power to tax individuals directly). Ripostes from proponents, the Federalists, animate the great detail Maier provides, as does her recounting how one state convention’s verdict affected another’s. Displaying the grudging grassroots blessing the Constitution originally received, Maier eruditely yet accessibly revives a neglected but critical passage in American history.—Booklist

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 29 July 2008




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Related files: Soul Pearls Reviews  More African American Special Days