Mine Eyes Have Seen the Savior

V - Black Ministry Empowerment in the Late 20th Century
June 3, 2003

Opening Prayer
Leader Let us pray.

Everliving God, you have graciously acted in the lives of our ancestors in the faith; continue your affirming presence in your Church today, so that we may proclaim your love and action in the world. Amen.

Scripture Reading
Read Joshua 24: 1-18

Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac; and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in its midst; and afterwards I brought you out. When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your ancestors with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. When they cried out to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did to Egypt. Afterwards you lived in the wilderness a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan; they fought with you, and I handed them over to you, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. Then King Balak son of Zippor of Moab, set out to fight against Israel. He sent and invited Balaam son of Beor to curse you, but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you; so I rescued you out of his hand. When you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I handed them over to you. I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove out before you the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and towns that you had not built, and you live in them; you eat the fruit of vineyards and oliveyards that you did not plant. "Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God."

Discussion questions

1) What was the purpose of establishing a separate Union of Black Episcopalians?

2) What were the short- and long-term effects of the mass walkout at General Convention, 1969?

3) How did the work of the UBE result in progress at the national level?

4) What are some of the lasting changes at the Episcopal Church Center that were influenced by Black Episcopal ministries?

5) Who was Charles Lawrence and what is he known for?

6) How did Afro-Anglicans begin to recruit new leaders for the Church?

Closing Prayers

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

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

All O God, in the voices of your people, your justice is heard. In the gentle hand of the blessed leaders your people are liberated. Stomp out that contrary spirit that fills us with fear and renders us helpless. Bless us who continue in the struggle for identity and freedom, and help us to seek your will. Let us not rest until we are one people, loving you our one God, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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