Tuesday, January 25th, 2022
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father."
My Siblings in Christ,
I want to invite you to a beautiful and profound event that speaks to our diocesan identity. On Saturday, February 12th and Sunday, February 13th our diocese will celebrate the feast of Blessed Absalom Jones.
The Rev. Absalom Jones was born into slavery and became the first Black priest ordained in The Episcopal Church - ordained right here in our diocese. This prophetic action testifies to the historic, revolutionary character of our diocese and has had a lasting impact on the entirety of The Episcopal Church.
Here are a few ways you can participate in February:
It is my sincere hope that everyone in our diocese will attend this online service. Not only is it an opportunity to gather for worship; it is also a chance to deepen our understanding of this pioneer of racial justice and reaffirm our commitment to confronting and dismantling the sin of systemic racism.
In his Petition to the United States Congress in 1799, Jones wrote, “…the extending of justice and equity to all Classes would be a means of drawing down the blessing of Heaven upon this Land, for the Peace and Prosperity of which, and the real happiness of every member of the Community…”.
Please join me in commemorating this great and beloved son of our diocese.
The Rt. Reverend Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania