Mine Eyes Have Seen the Savior

I - The Mission to the Slave Community
June 3, 2003

Opening Prayer

Leader Let us pray.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading
Read Exodus 5:1-9

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, "Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.' " But Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go." Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword." But the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labors!" Pharaoh continued, "Now they are more numerous than the people of the land and yet you want them to stop working!" That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, "You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, "Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.' Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words."

Discussion Questions

1) What was the view of the Church regarding the baptism of slaves?

2) How did Anglicanism become part of slave culture?

3) In the plantation South, how was segregation practiced in the Episcopal Church?

4) Why did free Blacks in the North begin to establish separate parishes?

5) How do you describe the way in which Black parishes in this era were included in the life of their local dioceses?

6) Episcopal parishes were founded by and for Blacks before the Civil War. Why do you think that many still consider Black Episcopalians “newcomers” to the Church?

Closing Prayers

Leader Let us pray.
All (The Lord’s Prayer)

Leader The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.

We thank you, God, for opening our eyes, our ears and our heart to your divine presence in the time of hardship and torture. Tutor our human hearts to see your presence in all people, and to treat ach person as a divine gift created in your love. Open our mouths to speak the encouraging words of justice and peace that will build up your kingdom. And forgive us for our sins and abuse of power as we seek to do your divine will in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Leader The Peace of the Lord be with you.
People And also with you.