February 3, 2021
In this edition: Black History Month; Bishop Brown's annual Lenten Book Study with Compline; sermon from the Rev. Dr. Howell C. Sasser; Fun Fact; Did You Know?; Check it Out!; Upcoming documentaries for Black History Month, Lenten programs; news from our parishes and community; more ...
February is Black History Month
Each year, February 1 begins the celebration of the contributions of Black people to our country, and a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice. The theme of Black History Month 2021 is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity," chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Check out the many racial justice resources and other information offered on the diocesan Awakening Racial Justice webpage. The Episcopal Church in Delaware is proud to recognize Black History Month.
Bishop's Annual
Lenten Book Study
with Compline
"The Risk of Believing"
A sermon by
The Rev. Dr. Howell C. Sasser, Jr.

delivered at St. Thomas's Parish, Newark
on Sunday, January 31, 2021
Remembering and offering prayers for 27 lives (in six parishes) lost in the Episcopal Church in Delaware
due to COVID-19
From six parishes across the Episcopal Church in Delaware, we remember and hold in our prayers the 27 souls, whom we know of, who have lost their lives to Coronavirus. We pray for all who have been affected or are suffering from this pandemic.
O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servants, and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, Page 493
Where can I get the vaccine in Delaware?
We are currently in Phase 1B

The State of Delaware is offering multiple options for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, health care personnel and long-term care residents/staff under Phase 1A, as well as individuals 65 and older and frontline essential workers under Phase 1B are eligible to receive the vaccine either through pharmacies, vaccination events, or medical providers. Learn more about how to register for each of these specific options by clicking the blue links or the DE.gov website here.
Black History Month sees the premiere of
two documentaries of note
"My Name is Pauli Murray" premiering in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival
A documentary about the Black, non-binary, writer, activist, lawyer, and priest who became California's first Black deputy attorney general and the first Black woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest. Justice Thurgood Marshall referred to Murray's 1950 book "States' Laws on Race and Color" as "the Bible for civil rights lawyers." More information

"The Black Church - This is Our Story. This is Our Song" on PBS this month
A two-part series about the 400-year history of the Black church in America, revealing its broad culture, faith communities on the frontlines of hope and change, and its role as the site of African American survival and grace, organizing and resilience, thriving and testifying, autonomy and freedom, solidarity and speaking truth to power.
Did you know?
Absalom Jones was baptized at
St. Peter's, Lewes
The Rev. Dr. Absalom Jones (November 7, 1746 – February 13, 1818) was born in Sussex County, DE. Legend holds that the Rev. Arthur Ussher, rector of St. Peter's, Lewes, baptized Jones. The church's chapel is dedicated in honor of blessed Absalom, Delaware's Saint. In 1794 Jones founded the first black Episcopal congregation, and in 1802, he was the first African American to be ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. Liturgically, he is remembered on the date of his death, February 13, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as "Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818". A biography of Absalom Jones is available in full on the website of The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. It is the official biography in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 (page 90). Pease see link here.
Check it out!
Surprising True Identity of Joseph with the Coat of Many Colors
In the Bible and the Quran, Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt by his brothers. Ultimately, Pharaoh, made him a minister when he was able to interpret the king’s dream. When continuing famine in Canaan caused Joseph’s brothers to be brought before him, they were ashamed but he asked them not to feel guilty: “...it was not you who sent me here, but God who has made me a father to Pharaoh." Egyptian officials were usually given the title “Son of Pharaoh,” but “Father to Pharaoh” was a rare title given to Yuya who served as a minister for Amenhotep III (circa 1405 -1367 BC.) Among his many titles, Yuya bore one that was unique to him ‘the holy father of the Lord of the Two Lands’, Pharaoh’s formal title. Is Yuya Joseph? More information
Fun Fact

Question: Why is February Black History Month?

Clue: The precursor to Black History Month was "Negro History Week" created in 1926.

Answer: Here
Virtual Lenten programs offered
A River Through the Desert - A Lenten Pilgrimage
Reflections for Lent from St. George’s College, Jerusalem consists of six sessions for groups and individuals exploring the geography of the Holy Land, following Jesus from Galilee to Golgotha. Each session will reflect on the theme with questions for exploration with links to short films from the Holy Land. Register to receive weekly sessions and for queries: resources@sgcjerusalem.org
Women Worth Knowing - Episcopal Women's History Project Lenten Series
There are hundreds of remarkable stories of women who have served the Episcopal Church with love, with persistence, with energy and with creativity. This series tells the stories of six women who have made an impact on the Episcopal Church, with time for discussion and questions. The Rev. Dr. Jo Ann Barker, President of EWHP will be emcee. The sessions will be presented as a Zoom experience where there is room for all who wish to participate. Ash Wednesday is on February 17, 2021; the series will begin on Thursday, February 18. More information
Cycle of Prayer in the Episcopal Church in Delaware
This week (week of January 31), in our diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we hold up in prayer St. Anne's Church, Middletown. The Rev. Russ Bohner, rector; the Rev. Celeste O. Cox, Priest-in-Residence; the Rev. Carl N. Kunz, Jr., rector emeritus. For the 2020-2021 diocesan Cycle of Prayer Calendar click here.
News from our parishes and community
Christ Church, Milford celebrated the 185th anniversary of its consecration
Construction of the present Christ Church Milford began in 1791 during the rectorate of the Rev. Sydenham Thorne and then ceased on his death in 1793. The dark years of the parish following the death of Parson Thorne were marked by declining number of communicants and limited services in the old church at Church Hill Village. The Rev. Corry Chambers is credited with the revival of the parish and the final completion in 1835 of the new church building in Milford, as envisioned by Parson Thorne. The church was consecrated on January 26, 1836, by The Rt. Rev. Henry U. Onderdonk, D. D., who was Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Pennsylvania and acting provisionally as the Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Delaware. The photograph was taken before the start of the 75th anniversary service on May 3, 1911.
Great window of opportunity for churches to do comprehensive energy audit at NO cost
Faith Efficiencies, administered by Delaware Interfaith Power & Light and funded by Energize Delaware, is currently providing comprehensive energy assessments to religious facilities throughout the state at no cost. Typically, these assessments cost $3,000-$4,000 and Energize Delaware covers 90% of that cost. But in light of COVID and strained economic times, they are able to provide these valuable tools at no cost through the end of June. The program includes virtual home energy presentations for members to help them lower their energy costs, increase comfort, create healthier indoor environments…and protect the planet. For more information, contact Lisa Locke, llocke@delawareipl.org.
New Resource for Parishes: Disaster Preparedness
This important source of information for every parish can be found on the diocesan website here.
St. John the Baptist, Milton uses new online visitor card!
The church's website offers an online visitor card just like the ones located in the pews in its sanctuary, and suggests that if members see someone new during the live stream Mass, they make sure to greet them as they would in person, and invite them to fill out a visitor card. You can see the form here.
News from the Episcopal Church
Presiding Bishop joins call for Christians to counter Christian nationalism during webinar

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry joined the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, for a webinar on Christian nationalism hosted by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, also known as BJC, on Jan. 27. The webinar provided an overview of what Christian nationalism is, how it is showing up in America and how Christians can address it. See the video and find more information here
CONFERENCE
Racial Reconciliation and the Baptismal Covenant
February 19-21 via Zoom

Participate in a discussion about striving for justice and peace among all people.

More information here
For a Time Such as This: The Church as Witness, 2021 CEEP Network's Digital Annual Conference
March 3-5, 2021
Join the most influential thought leaders in the Church today. Keynote Speakers include the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, and the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. Learn more and register here.
Episcopal Church Executive Council: opening remarks from the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop
The opening remarks of President of the House of Deputies Gay Clark Jennings at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church which met virtually through January 25, may be read in English or Spanish here.
Executive Council eyes plan for pandemic aid to dioceses, commits church to ‘deradicalization’
During its January meeting, The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council pledged to assist cash-strapped dioceses during the pandemic, committed the church to “deradicalization” efforts after the U.S. Capitol riot,and received an update on a racial audit of church leadership, during a four-day meeting at which current events influenced much of the agenda. Read full ENS article here.
General Theological Seminary & Virginia Theological Seminary Explore Deeper Partnership
General Theological Seminary is the oldest Episcopal seminary. Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest. They're not merging, but they're exploring models for collaboration that may allow them to share faculty and resources. More information
News from the Anglican Communion
Standing Committee concludes review of ACO priorities: will re-focus activities on supporting the four Instruments of Communion in line with the recommendations of the review it commissioned.
This will end those aspects of the programmatic activity of the ACO which can be undertaken more effectively regionally or within the provinces, with staff taking on more of a co-ordinating role. The more devolved way of working will reflect the cultural and traditional diversity of the Communion and is intended to broaden participation. As a result, there have been a number of senior staff changes at the Anglican Communion Office, mostly as a result of the ongoing restructuring, but also as a result of normal staff movements. More changes may occur in the coming days as the consultation with ACC staff about the restructuring continues. Once all changes have been made, details will be posted on the Anglican Communion website.
Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations announces new publications
The Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations (ACOUN) has submitted a statement to the 20th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which will take place in April on the theme "Peace, justice and strong institutions: the role of indigenous peoples in implementing Sustainable Development". In addition, the January 2021 ACOUN newsletter is now available in Spanish and Portguguese, in addition to English. You can download all documents here.
IRAD Webinar on “Koinonia: God’s Gift and Calling”, 1-2pm, Tuesday, February 16, 2021
The International Reformed–Anglican Dialogue (IRAD) published its latest agreed statement, Koinonia: God’s Gift and Calling in December 2020. To promote this important statement, the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches are hosting an online webinar.
The subject of the report is koinonia, a Greek word found frequently in the New Testament and used to describe the essential relationships that are at the centre of the Christian life. The report may be downloaded free of charge from anglicancommunion.org/irad. All are welcome to join the webinar, and hear more about IRAD’s contribution to the unity of the Church, and why koinonia has profound importance for us all. To take part in the webinar, please register with Neil Vigers to receive access details: neil.vigers@anglicancommunion.org.
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