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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Absalom Jones

Priest
b.1746
d.February 13, 1818

Absalom Jones was the first black American to be formally ordained as a priest in any denomination. Lesser Feasts and Fasts describes how this came to be:

At St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church, he served as lay minister for its Black membership.The active evangelism of Jones and that of his friend, Richard Allen, greatly increased Black membership at St. George’s. The alarmed vestry decided to segregate Blacks into an upstairs gallery, without notifying them. During a Sunday service when ushers attempted to remove them, the Blacks indignantly walked out in a body.

In 1787, Black Christians organized the Free African Society, the first organized Afro-American society, and Absalom Jones and Richard Allen were elected overseers. Members of the Society paid monthly dues for the benefit of those in need. The Society established communication with similar Black groups in other cities. In 1792, the Society began to build a church, which was dedicated on July 17, 1794.

The African Church applied for membership in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania on the following conditions: 1, that they be received as an organized body; 2, that they have control over their local affairs; 3, that Absalom Jones be licensed as layreader, and, if qualified, be ordained as minister. In October 1794 it was admitted as St. Thomas African Episcopal Church. Bishop White ordained Jones as deacon in 1795 and as priest on September 21, 1802.

Collect:

Set us free, O heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of thy servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which thou hast given us in thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance
8:00 am, Chantry Chapel
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
A Special Exhibition of Portraits in Andrew Hall, free and open to the public, on display weekdays 10am – 5pm, Jan 22nd – Feb 15th.
12:00 pm
On Mondays through Fridays at 12pm we offer prayers and intercessions at the shrine of Our Lady of Fifth Avenue.
12:10 pm, Chantry Chapel
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
5:30 pm, High Altar
Sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys.
6:15 pm, High Altar
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, Andrew Hall, Parish House
On the Wednesdays of February 13, 20, and 27 from 6:30-8:00pm, join us for a special Evening Theology Course as we welcome our special guest, Jeremy Waldron, professor of legal and political philosophy at NYU School of Law. This first session will focus on the prophet Amos and the place of justice in his nine chapters. Amos is a short book (7 or 8 pages) and it will be helpful if participants can read it through in advance. Two other classes will follow on the next two Wednesdays: February 20 and 27. Everyone is welcome.
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Living Room, Parish House
As our strategic planning work continues with Wellspring Consulting, please come and hear a short presentation of some emerging themes and provide your feedback.