Celebrating the Life and Witness of Absalom Jones: February 10, 2014

Can't join us in person for the afternoon church-wide conversation on Dismantling Racism? Watch live online beginning at 2:00pm! Click here to view the live stream

Join us for a day of conversation, reflection, and worship as Episcopal Divinity School celebrates the life and witness of Absalom Jones on Monday, Feburary 10, 2014, on our Cambridge campus.

This day’s events celebrate the life and ministry of Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest in the Episcopal Church. Jones' legacy is honored annually at EDS and helps support the Absalom Jones Scholarship Fund. Established in 1986, the Fund provides scholarships for African American students attending Episcopal Divinity School and preparing for ordination in the Episcopal Church. To make a gift to the Absalom Jones Scholarship Fund, click here.

Program of the Day

Monday, February 10, 2014
2:00-7:30 PM


Dismantling Racism and Building Beloved Community: Sharing Hopes, Challenges, and New Visions (2:00-5:00 PM); Sherril Library Room 350

A Church-wide conversation hosted by Episcopal Divinity School and co-sponsored by The Episcopal Church Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism, The Union of Black Episcopalians, The Massachusetts Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, and The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery.

Over the course of its history, the Church has perpetrated racism and it has aided in healing from this oppression. Two hundred and ten years after the ordination of Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest in the Episcopal Church, how goes today’s work of ending the sin of racism and building beloved community? What stories and initiatives  encourage us? What experiences discourage or challenge us? Join for a church-wide conversation with leaders of programs to dismantle racism from across the country to take our collective temperature, share our stories, and be energized in our creation of a just and healthy world.  

This church-wide event uses a traditional campus meeting space AND online media to bring together members of anti-racism initiatives from across the Episcopal communion. Come if you have a story to tell. Come if you need encouragement. Come if you know of valuable resources to share or help to request. Come to celebrate the journey so far.

The program will feature a live and webcast screening of the film Repairing the Breach: The Episcopal Church & Slavery Atonement (Facilitators: Dain and Constance Perry, affiliated with the documentary film Traces of the Trade) followed by conversation about new initiatives to dismantle racism and bring healing with The Rev. Jim Abbott and Osondu McPeters (Diocese of Western North Carolina), Dr. Catherine Meeks (Diocese of Atlanta) and other leaders from across the country. Convener: Canon Ed Rodman.


Worship service at St. John's Memorial Chapel (5:30-6:30 PM)

Preaching: The Rev. Fr. Martini Shaw, Rector, African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Philadelphia

Presiding: The Rev. Leslie Sterling '01, Rector, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Cambridge, and President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians 


Reception at The Deanery (on the EDS Campus) (6:30-7:30 PM)