There is nothing more fun than a backyard feast with friends and family on a hot sunny summer afternoon. And because the Church body of Calvary Cathedral of Praise located in the heart of Brooklyn NY is filled with people from different cultures, they celebrate diverse nationalities by means of “Cultural Day “Fusion”: The World in your Backyard“. It was literally in the backyard on August 1, 2015, with the Kensington Community and the surrounding areas, Partnering Organizations, and the 500- 700 people in attendance each year. Between the jerk chicken from Jamaica and the Oil down from Grenada and all the other countries, they literally had “the world” in their backyard. I was bombarded with so much love and fun festivities.
The goal of this day is to integrate the community with the varying aspects of cultures by show casing ethnic backgrounds in different customs (food, music, flags, etc) but also ensuring the name of Jesus is proclaimed. The name Cultural Day “Fusion” itself brings this idea to life as Hazel Valentine the director and the youth leader at CCOP stated.
This popular full day fest of activities included a Back to School Drive, Fusion Game Lane, Cultural Food Bazaar and the unforgettably Cultural Coliseum; multiple pop-up shops. We all know food is the first thing most people look for at a festival like this. I wasted no time in doing that. They displayed eclectic foods of each Caribbean island one after the next. To name a few were Trinidad, Tobago, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent, Haiti and that cold memorable homemade ginger drink I had from the Jamaican exhibition area.
CCOP uses different approach to bring the community together so they can enjoy the fun. A wide range of children to senior citizens attended the event literally held in the parking lot of the church, whose mission is “winning souls to Christ”. This multicultural activity included people from Germany, Ghana, and Mexico to name a few under one umbrella to diffuse their cultural.
Some featured musical artists included Marilyn Isaac and Ijeal Joseph who understand the ministry and strive to deliver the word of God through songs to impact the lives of many were present. Minister Ijeal from Grenada ministered a few of his original songs hoped to bless and inspire the hearts and the spirits of the people in attendance he mentioned. It was his fourth year.
Minister Marilyn Isaac; a member of the church for the past 28 years enjoys the fellowship and lifting up the name of Jesus. Through her music, she ministers to attendees and also host one-on-one sit down with individuals who need counseling.
Additionally, there were prayer stations in the surrounding areas where they can reach out to those in need. They gave away free bag of school supplies for the children and youth to bring back to school and off course I received a free tote bag and some food vouchers to get a taste of the different cultures there. I was not disappointed with the coconut rice and peas, baked mac and cheese, topped with the savory stew chicken with side of corn boiled with franks from the Grenada hut.
They also had the street filled with games for everyone to enjoy.
Another incredible thing I enjoyed most from “Cultural Day “Fusion”: The World in your Backyard” was the demonstration of how to make special dishes from various countries. They were exhibited right on the stage, to help the community to be master chef of making healthy homemade chocolate.
The goal to celebrate together was a great success one of the memebers of the church said. I truly enjoyed this festival and learned many things about all the diverse cultures there.