Bishop’s Pastoral Communication
January 25, 2024
General Convention Resolution C007: Designate March 10th as Date to Commemorate Harriet Ross Tubman
From The Office of the Bishop & Diocesan Diversity Awareness Commission
All parochial clergy and lay leaders are directed to include in the parish’s Liturgical Calendar observances the Commemoration of Harriet Ross Tubman Memorial Sunday on March 10, 2024.
It may be worthwhile to note that this resolution was proposed by Province III to the 80th General Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, July 8-11, 2022. It was unanimously concurred by both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies of General Convention.
Our beloved sister and freedom fighter is familiarly recognized as “The Moses of her people”. The diocese encourages members of the church to visit the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center, in Cambridge, MD. We have linked additional information from Lesser Feasts and Fasts, including a short biography about Harriet Ross Tubman, for your convenience here.
Let us pray,
O God, whose Spirit guides us into truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servant Harriet Ross Tubman. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Rite II Collect, Lesser Feasts and Fasts)
The recommended Lectionary Readings: Judges 9: 50-55; Psalm 146; New Testament: I John 4: 7-16; Gospel: Luke 11: 5-10 (Preface of Baptism).
The Reverend Absalom Jones’ Commemoration in the Liturgical Calendar of the Episcopal Church is February 13th. Generally, the Sunday within the octave or closest to the date is recommended for the observance of Absalom’s commemoration.
Let us pray,
Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The recommended Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 11: 1-5; Psalm 137: 1-6; Galatians 5: 1-5; John 15: 12-15. (Preface of a saint).
We have linked additional information from Lesser Feasts and Fasts, including a short biography about Absalom Jones, for your convenience here.
Racial Justice and Healing Training Opportunities:
The 154th Annual Diocese Convention directed parishes, clergy and lay to access training on Racial Justice and Healing through the two opportunities authorized by General Convention and the Episcopal Church plus the Difference Program authorized by the worldwide Anglican Communion of which individuals in the diocese have been trained to lead.
- In September 2021, Dr. Catherine Meeks, founder of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing led a Two-day Diocesan wide Mission Summit on Racial Justice and Healing training. These sessions were recorded and divided into four videos that can be found on the diocesan website.
- The Episcopal Church’s website has several training initiatives, including Racial Justice, Healing and Reconciliation Resources.
- The Diversity Awareness Commission offered financial scholarships to parishes as an encouragement to engage the Sacred Ground Curriculum training authorized by the diocese and conducted by the Retreat House. Thank you to the clergy and parishes who have engaged in racial healing training; more are encouraged to engage in training in the year ahead.
- Sacred Ground: General Convention 2022, Resolution D014 reaffirms the church-wide usage of the Sacred Ground Curriculum.
- The Difference Course for the Anglican Communion can be run at the local level or the Diocese offers the course during Lent (register here).
Black History Month – February
February is Black History Month. All parishes in the Diocese of Easton are encouraged to honor at least one black Christian leader. One way may be to feature a figure in Black History in the parish newsletter or other communications as a way of showing the Episcopal Church’s commitment of honoring persons of all races and their contribution to the betterment of our nation and world.
Below are some suggestions. Feel free to contact the Diocese of Easton for more suggestions or information, or refer to the Episcopal Church webpages on Racial Reconciliation.
February 4th – Howard Thurman – The Man & His Spiritual Writings – One of the greatest spiritual writers in Christian Church history and influenced the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
February 11th – Absalom Jones – The Life and Leadership
February 18th – Dr. Catherine Meeks – Founder of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing
February 25th – Frederick Douglass
March 3rd – Harriet Tubman – Encouraging congregations to visit the Harriet Tubman Museum & Education Center in Cambridge, MD.
My beloved, the Diocese of Easton acknowledges that both Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass began their journeys on the eastern shore as they were born in Dorchester and Talbot Counties respectively. Therefore, we feel a deep respect and responsibility to honor them and for their work throughout their lifetime.
Every blessing in our Epiphanytide observances!
Epiphany III 2024