Mine Eyes Have Seen the Savior

II - The Black Independence Movement in the Episcopal Church
June 3, 2003

Opening Prayer
Leader Let us pray.

Oh, Lord God, as we journey in ministries of service and leadership, make us ever mindful to discern your voice calling us to the revelation of your Divine Spirit. By way of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, continue to enable us to attain new and creative possibilities that reveal your steadfast and unconditional love. Strengthen us for service to renew your people day by day. And in all our days, enrich us with the grace to speak and act with prophetic courage. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading
Read Galatians 5:1, 16-26

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

Discussion Questions

1) Why did Blacks leave the Episcopal Church in large numbers after Emancipation, and what was the initial response of the White-controlled church?

2) How did General Convention address the issue of missionary work among freed Blacks in the U.S.?

3) What was the Conference of Church Workers Among Colored People and why was it formed?

4) What was the purpose of the suffragan bishop and why did the church feel the need to create this position?

5) How did circumstances in the Caribbean lead to enrichment of the Black Episcopal Church?

6) The Episcopal Church reflected the segregated culture of its time. In which ways did this affect the type of theological training the church provided, and the opportunities for ordained ministries available to Blacks?

Closing Prayers

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

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

All Most Gracious God, we thank you for the opportunity to reflect upon your Word. Thank you for revealing your power and presence in the history of humankind. Continue to guide us as the vesper lights glisten or as the morning shadows appear. Hold us in the palm of your hand and guide our thoughts, words and heart to deeply love each other in your Name. Amen.

Leader Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. (Alleluia, Alleluia)
People Thanks be to God. (Alleluia, Alleluia)