Saturday, June 19th, 2021
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
We gather on June 19 to commemorate the day when news of the Emancipation Proclamation was finally shared in Galveston, Texas, that all enslaved persons were free. As we will give thanks and celebrate the achievements of African Americans since that event, we will also remember the costs of freedom delayed and denied for them in our country. Those of white ancestry bear special responsibility to examine the privileges and benefits derived from racist systems and institutions that have inflicted suffering, pain, and death on persons of other racial backgrounds. In this light and in the name of Jesus Christ, we in the Diocese of Pennsylvania will all recommit ourselves to renouncing the evil powers of this world as they manifest in racism, to striving for justice and peace among all people, and to respecting the dignity of every human being.
We will be joined by the St. Thomas Episcopal Gospel Choir and by soloists Ruth Naomi Floyd, accompanied by Dr. Jay Fluellen; and LaTreice Branson, singer and drummer from the St. James Episcopal School. This service marks the launch of the Loving Presence Initiative to dismantle racism in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, our Gospel imperative and the vision of Bishop Daniel Gutierrez, in response to historic racial injustice and to the tragic death of George Floyd just one year ago.