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Weeks Ahead: Absalom Jones Day celebrations highlight events throughout the Episcopal Church
Daybook

2/8/2006
[Episcopal News Service]  The Episcopal Church has designated February 13, Absalom Jones Day and will celebrate his life and ministry throughout the Church this weekend.

Born a house slave in 1746 in Delaware, Jones taught himself to read out of the New Testament.  In 1762, he was sold to a store owner in Philadelphia, where he attended a night school for blacks operated by Quakers.  Jones did not earn his freedom until the age of 38.

In Philadelphia, Jones served as a lay preacher at St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church where he helped increased their black membership. The vestry expressed its displeasure by secretly deciding to segregate black members to the balcony. During a Sunday service when ushers attempted to move Jones and others upstairs, the black members, walked out.

In 1787, black Christians established the Free African Society, a service organization for blacks, and elected Jones to its leadership. Thereafter, the Society began to build a church, which applied for membership in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. In 1794, the church was admitted as St. Thomas African Episcopal Church. The church grew rapidly and Jones was ordained as deacon and later as priest.

The 1991 Episcopal Book of Lesser Feasts and Fasts states that "Absalom Jones was an earnest preacher.  He denounced slavery, and warned the oppressors to 'clean their hands of slaves.'  To him, God was the Father who always acted on "behalf of the oppressed and distressed." 

 

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  • WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA: The Diocese of East Carolina meets in convention
  • OLYMPIA (WA): St. John's welcomes Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles
  • SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: The Diocese of San Diego meets in convention
  • WACO, TEXAS: The Diocese of Texas meets in convention
  • SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Seabury-Western dean to speak at St. Mark's Cathedral
  • FORT WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA: Stanley Hauerwas to lead seminar on the Gospel of Matthew
  • PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Celebration of Absalom Jones Day
  • DENVER, COLORADO: Absalom Jones Celebration
  • SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: Black History Month Bilingual Eucharist
  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA: "Faith and Science Sunday"
  • HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT: Organ sensation Cameron Carpenter to perform
  • SAN FRANCISCO: Bishop William Swing to make final appearance at forum
  • CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS: Episcopal Divinity School's Absalom Jones Lecture
  • PENSACOLA, FLORIDA: The Diocese of Central Gulf Coast meets in convention
  • SPOKANE, WASHINGTON: Awakening to the Sacred at St. John's Cathedral
  • THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA: Musical performances in the Epiphany season
  • NEW YORK CITY: Disaster Chaplaincy Training
  • PORTLAND, OREGON: "Emerging Church" Learning Party
  • HOUSTON, TEXAS: Absalom Jones Festival
  • FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS: Clearing the Mind, Opening the Heart
  • SAN FRANCISCO: Five spiritual leaders in conversation
  • PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Interfaith Event
  • COVINGTON, KENTUCKY: The Diocese of Lexington meets in convention
  • FLORENCE, ALABAMA: The Diocese of Alabama meets in convention
  • MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: The Diocese of West Tennessee meets in convention
  • BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY: The Diocese of Kentucky meets in convention
  • SUNNYSIDE, WASHINGTON: Leadership Skills for Hispanic Communities
  • FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS: The Diocese of Arkansas meets in convention
  • SAN FRANCISCO: Organ In Sanity & Madness
  • GRANTHAM, PENNSYLVANIA: Youth Workers Conference

 

Coming February 9, 2006...

WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA: The Diocese of East Carolina meets in convention -- The Diocese of East Carolina meets in convention February 9-11 at St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. For more information visit: http://www.diocese-eastcarolina.org/2006Convention.html

 

OLYMPIA (WA): St. John's welcomes Los Angeles Bishop Bruno -- St. John's is beginning a new public lecture series entitled, "Faith in the Marketplace." Their inaugural event will be held February 9, at 7p.m., and will feature Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles. Bruno is known for his work in linking the public and private sectors for the poor. His lecture is entitled, "Faith Communities, Social Services and Government: Partners
in Blessing."

This event is co-sponsored by Catholic Community Services, the Lutheran Public Policy Office and the United Methodist Church of Washington.

 

 

Coming February 10, 2006...

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: The Diocese of San Diego meets in convention -- The Diocese of San Diego meets in convention February 10-11 at St. Dunstan's in San Diego, California. For more information visit: http://www.edsd.org/

 

WACO, TEXAS: The Diocese of Texas meets in convention -- The Diocese of Texas meets in convention February 10-11, hosted by the congregations of Waco, Texas: Holy Spirit, St. Alban's, and St. Paul. For more information visit: http://www.diocesancouncil.org/

 

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Seabury-Western dean to speak at St. Mark's Cathedral -- The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean and president of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary will visit the Diocese of Olympia February 10-12, and will speak at St. Mark's Cathedral and conduct two workshops from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., entitled "Growing a Church: How to Engage Seekers with the Gospel." This workshop will explore the artful ways a parish church can engage seekers from a wide variety of faith traditions and introduce them to the deep and often hard questions of Christian faith and practice.

Also offered is "Why Seabury?" a presentation and discussion with Hall, as well as the seminary's director of development and associate academic dean.

For more information call Dabney Rohrbach at 206.320.1084 or email scoutdmr@aol.com.

 

 Coming February 11, 2006...

FORT WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA: Stanley Hauerwas to lead seminar on the Gospel of Matthew -- Professor Stanley Hauerwas, named "America's Best Theologian" in 2001 by TIME Magazine, will present a seminar entitled "The Gospel of Matthew: Doing Theology from the Margins" February 11, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., at St. Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh.

This lecture will commence the 2006 Winter/Spring seminar program from the Center for Spiritual Inquiry at St. Thomas' Church, Whitemarsh.

For further information call Lisa White at 215.233.3970, ext. 115, or email lisaw@stthomaswhitemarsh.org.

 

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Celebration of Absalom Jones Day -- The Rev. Michael Battle from Virginia Theological Seminary will preach at 10 a.m. for the diocesan celebration at St. Philips Cathedral to celebrate the life and ministry of the Rev. Absalom Jones.

On February 12, Absalom Jones Day, the Eucharist will be celebrated on the original altar used by Jones at historic St. Thomas Church. The Rev. Nelson Pinder, national president of the Union of Black Episcopalians, will be the preacher.

 

 

Coming February 12, 2006...

DENVER, COLORADO: Absalom Jones Celebration -- On February 12, special celebrations commemorating the ministry of the Rev. Absalom Jones will be held at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church. The Rev. Jayne Oasin, the social justice officer at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City, will be the guest homilist and concelebrant with the Rev. Paul Spurlock, rector. Oasin will also conduct an educational discussion between the services and an educational forum with members of the Anti-Racism Committee.

For more information call St. Thomas' Church at 303.388.4395.

 

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: Black History Month Bilingual Eucharist -- The Very Rev. Ashton Jacinto Brooks, dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Virgin Islands and former canon of Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, will be the celebrant and preacher at a Black History Month Bilingual Eucharist at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 1401 Ponce de Leon Ave. in Santurce (Stop 20 at Canals), on February 12 at 6 p.m.

The service will also feature the musical gifts of choir master and pianist, Kurt Faussette, past organist of St. Mark's Methodist Church in Harlem.

 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: "Faith and Science Sunday" -- St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Atlanta has marked February 12 as "Faith and Science Sunday."  

Prophets of the environment Rachel Carson and Barbara Kingsolver will be the focus of the Adult Christian Education series on biblical and contemporary prophets. In her sermon, the Rev. Patricia Templeton plans to highlight the discoveries of science and the use of our minds in scientific inquiry as a gift of God.

For more information visit: http://www.stdunstan.net/

 

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT: Organ sensation Cameron Carpenter to perform -- Juilliard virtuoso Cameron Carpenter returns to South Church in Hartford, on February 12 at 4 p.m., to entertain on not one but three organs.

First, he will play the 1949 G. Donald Harrison/Aeolian-Skinner in the Meetinghouse, followed by the 1989 Austin in the Chapel.  Then, in a festive reception, Carpenter will return to the Allen organ to play standards and show tunes.

For information call 860.249.8627. There is a suggested donation of $10.

 

SAN FRANCISCO: Bishop William Swing to make final appearance at Forum -- On February 12, at 9:30 a.m., Grace Cathedral's live talk show, "The Forum," will feature Bishop William Swing of California in his final appearance before retirement. Swing will reflect on his victories, his challenges, and the next phase in his vocation.

The Forum is an on-going, live series of conversations on critical issues with a diverse group of newsmakers and thinkers. It is always free and open to the public, and can be accessed online at: http://www.gracecathedral.org/forum

For information call 415.749.6370.

 

 

 Coming February 15, 2006...

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS: Episcopal Divinity School's Absalom Jones Lecture -- Episcopal Divinity School's annual Absalom Jones lecture will feature the Rev. Dr. Gloria White Hammond, who will also preach at the Eucharist on February 16.

Hammond is a co-pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and a practicing pediatrician at the South End Community Health Center.

Both the lecture and Eucharist will be held on the EDS campus in St. John's Memorial Chapel.

 

 

Coming February 16, 2006...

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA: The Diocese of Central Gulf Coast meets in convention -- The Diocese of Central Gulf Coast meets in convention February 16-18.

For more information visit: http://www.diocgc.org/

 

 

Coming February 17, 2006...

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON: Awakening to the Sacred at St. John's Cathedral -- Paula Gonzalez, SC, Ph.D., a futurist educator and environmentalist, will present two programs at St. John's Cathedral February 17-18. Both programs will address how merging insights from science and spirituality can awaken us to "the awesome wonder of our planetary home."

The registration fee for the February 17 presentation is $15 and $30 for the February 18 workshop, which includes lunch.

The events are sponsored by the Gonzaga University Religious Studies Department and Spiritus, the spirituality center of the diocese and St. John's Cathedral.

For further information, e-mail jennings@gonzaga.edu.

 

THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA: Musical performances in the Epiphany season -- Continuing observance of the Epiphany season, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church will present two noted musical groups the Alchemy Handbell Ensemble on February 17, 7:30 p.m., and the Matt Harris Combo performing a jazz worship service on February 19, 10:15 a.m.

The Alchemy Handbell Ensemble has appeared around the world under the leadership of Boude Moore, music director of Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, Woodland Hills. Alchemy's song list will span the baroque masterpieces of J.S. Bach to the jazz standards of Dave Brubeck.

The Matt Harris Combo will incorporate their musical stylings into the worship. Harris, the director of jazz studies at Cal State Northridge, is a writer, arranger, and keyboardist who has played with Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Rita Moreno and Tom Jones.

Admission is free with donations to the St. Patrick's Music Program.

For more information about either event call Steve O'Connor at 805.495.6441.

 

NEW YORK CITY: Disaster Chaplaincy Training -- Disaster Chaplaincy Services (DCS) is offering the Disaster Chaplaincy Services 1 Orientation course on February 17, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in Donegan Hall at Diocesan House, 1047Amsterdam Avenue.

DCS is a multi-faith chaplaincy organization which provides trained chaplains for response to emergencies, disasters, and crises in the New York tri-state area.  DCS works with emergency response agencies such as the American Red Cross and the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Recently, DCS chaplains have been deployed to events such as the NYC Hurricane Katrina Disaster Assistance Service Center (DASC), uniformed services funerals, 9/11 Memorial events at Ground Zero, Staten Island Ferry Accident, SUNY Maritime College student fatalities.

If you are interested in this chaplaincy opportunity, call the Rev. Julie Taylor at 646.879.9029 or email jtaylor@dcs-ny.org.

 

 

Coming February 18, 2006...

PORTLAND, OREGON: "Emerging Church" Learning Party -- An "Emerging Church" learning party will be held at Ss. Peter and Paul Episcopal Church, located at 8147 SE Pine Street, Portland on February 18, from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

This event will include presenters from Church of the Apostles, a joint Episcopal-Lutheran "emerging church" congregation in Seattle.

The ecumenical "emerging church" movement is described as a "new approach to ancient faith," and has energized young adults to seek and live a committed faith-life.

The cost is $35 per person/$25 for students. A soup lunch will be provided. Child care is available upon request.

To register, visit http://www.seekhere.org/ or for further information call the Rev. Kurt Neilson at 503.254.8168.

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS: Absalom Jones Festival -- The Episcopal Diocese of Texas invites all to attend their Absalom Jones Festival on February 18 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, located at 717 Sage Road.

Bishop Herbert Thompson, retired bishop of Southern Ohio, will serve as homilist at the Eucharist, and the Rev. Dr. J. Carleton Hayden, an Absalom Jones scholar and author, the Rev. Timothy Holder and the HipHopEMass Group from the Bronx, New York will lead workshops on exploring, clarifying, and discussing Episcopal sainthood in modern times, Afro-Anglicanism and the contributions of Jones as they pertain to the church today and demonstrate how to song a new Song to Jesus Christ respectively.

To register visit: http://www.epicenter.org/christianformation/calendar.html or call Janie Stevens at 800.318.4452.

 

 

Coming February 19, 2006...

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS: Clearing the Mind, Opening the Heart - The concept of relationships as containers for spiritual and personal development is the theme of "Clearing the Mind, Opening the Heart," a two-part workshop to be led by Canon Susan Sims-Smith at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, located at Dickson Street and Highway 71B. Workshop sessions will be held February 19 and April 2 from 1 - 4:30 p.m.

Sims-Smith, who specialized in couples therapy for 25 years before ordination to the priesthood, is now the canon for special ministries and director of SeedWork for the Diocese of Arkansas.

The workshop will combine modern day psychological research on successful relationships with ancient spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation. Topics to be covered include communication, forgiveness, humor, and working with solvable and unsolvable problems. Couples will be able to use the time between the two workshops to do communication "home" work.

To register, call Mary Miller or Sunshine Slade at 479.442.7373.

 

SAN FRANCISCO: Five spiritual leaders in conversation -- In a special event co-presented with HarperSanFrancisco, five leaders from different spiritual backgrounds will discuss the new book by Rabbi Michael Lerner entitled "The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right," on February 19 at 1 p.m. at Grace Cathedral.

The interfaith panelists include the Rev. Alan Jones, dean of Grace Cathedral; Maha elGenaidi, president and CEO, Islamic Network Group; Lerner, author and editor of Tikkun magazine; the Rev. James McCray, senior pastor of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church; and Fr. Stephen Privett, president of University of San Francisco.

Admission is free. For information visit http://www.gracecathedral.org/ or call 415.749.6350.

 

 

Coming February 21, 2006...

PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Interfaith Event -- Brotherhood and Sisterhood Week will be observed on February 21 with the first gathering of the New England Interfaith Discussions on Eradicating Extreme Poverty (NEIDEEP, pronounced "knee deep") from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church at 129 Miller Avenue.

The group aims to encourage others, including world leaders, to make the right decisions that will end conditions such as global HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty.

Scheduled speakers include Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (http://www.e4gr.org/), Heifer (http://www.heifer.org/), and Bread for life (http://www.breadforlife.org/).

Refreshments and a vegetarian lunch will be served and childcare is available with advance notice. 

For more information and to RSVP, email pblair1@earthlink.net, or call 207.363.7376.

 

 

Coming February 23, 2006...

COVINGTON, KENTUCKY: The Diocese of Lexington meets in convention - The Diocese of Lexington meets in convention February 23-25 at the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront in Covington, Kentucky. For more information visit: http://www.diolex.org/convention2006/

 

FLORENCE, ALABAMA: The Diocese of Alabama meets in convention -- The Diocese of Alabama meets in convention February 23-25 at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center, in Florence, Alabama. For more information visit: http://www.dioala.org/

 

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: The Diocese of West Tennessee meets in convention -- The Diocese of West Tennessee meets in convention February 23-25 at Calvary Church  in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information visit: http://www.episwtn.org/diocesan_convention.html

 

 

Coming February 24, 2006...

BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY: The Diocese of Kentucky meets in convention -- The Diocese of Kentucky meets in convention February 24-25 at Christ Church, in Bowling Green Kentucky. For more information visit: http://www.episcopalky.org/

 

SUNNYSIDE, WASHINGTON: Leadership Skills for Hispanic Communities -- The Hispanic Ministry Leadership Skills Workshop is scheduled for February 24-26 in Sunnyside, Washington.  The Rev. Pablo Ramos will facilitate leading participants in study and reflection on baptismal ministry, leadership, and worship ministries. 

For information, email Holladay Sanderson at holladays@spokanediocese.org or Linda Hale at jlhale@netaxcess.com 

 

En Español: Taller Sobre Habilidades Para Liderazgo,  24-26 de Febrero- Habrá un taller sobre habilidades para liderazgo el 24, 25 y 26 de febrero en Sunnyside.  El Rvdo. Pablo Ramos será líder. Los temas incluyen el ministerio bautismal, el liderazgo, y el ministerio de culto. 

Para descubrir más información, comuniquen con Holladay Sanderson 509.624.3191 holladays@spokanediocese.org, o Linda Hale
jlhale@netaxcess.com

 

FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS: The Diocese of Arkansas meets in convention -- The Diocese of Arkansas meets in convention February 24-25, hosted by St. John's, St. Bartholomew's, Trinity, and St. Augustine's in Fort Smith, Arkansas. For more information visit: http://www.arkansas.anglican.org/

 

 

Coming February 26, 2006...

SAN FRANCISCO: Organ In Sanity & Madness -- Grace Cathedral, located at Nob Hill, 1100 California Street at Taylor, San Francisco, will present "Organ In Sanity & Madness, a celebration-partly irreverent-of this King of Instruments," February 26, 4:00 p.m. preceded by a Choral Evensong at 3:00 p.m.

The great Aeolian-Skinner organ at Grace Cathedral is one of the world's finest and most famous instruments of its kind. Its 7,347 pipes comprise a massive orchestral sound that perfectly complements the gothic-style cathedral's natural acoustics among soaring arches and stained glass.

This concert is one of the Cathedral's series of free organ concerts on most Sundays from September to June. Admission is free.

For information visit http://www.gracecathedral.org/, email conncerts@gracecathedral.org, or call 415.749.6350.

 

 

Coming March 4, 2006...

GRANTHAM, PENNSYLVANIA: Youth Workers Conference -- Messiah College is offering a one day Youth Workers Conference on March 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The conference is designed for both youth professionals and lay-workers. If you register before February 24, the cost per person is $37 and for groups of three or more the cost per person is $30. 

For more information email mblackfo@messiah.edu or call 717.796.5252.

The conference website is:
http://www.messiah.edu/offices/alumni/events/youth_workers_conference/