Here is my sermon for today. I have added remarks about Fr. Charles Neale Field, SSJE, to show the beginnings and some of the continuation of ministry to “People of Color” done (undertaken) by members of the SSJE from the late 19th Century and well into the 20th Century. This is not to say we don’t do any of that ministry, but our involvement has of necessity changed. I was the last “priest in charge of the Church of St. Martin and St. Augustine” and shared in ministry there from almost the time when I entered the SSJE until the Diocese of Massachusetts took it over. As a deacon during my postulancy, and throughout my novitiate and the first year of my life vows I took my place in the rotation of some Sundays at St. Martin & St. Augustine, and some at St. John’s Church, Bowdoin Street, Boston, the church of the SSJE until the mid-1970s. From early 1962 until late 1975 I was in Japan, except for occasional furloughs. My time as “priest in charge at St. Martin & St. Augustine” was while I was on furlough from Japan, sometime in 1972 until the spring of 1973.
– David Allen, SSJE
It is appropriate that the first words of the Epistle reading for today are, “For freedom Christ has set us free.” (Gal. 5:1)
Absalom Jones was born as a house slave in Delaware in 1746. He taught himself to read and write English by studying the New Testament, and bought his own freedom in 1784. Soon after that he and his friend Richard Allen became lay ministers at St. George’s Methodist Church.