Those qualities of the Rev. Absalom Jones (1746-1818) will be celebrated as the diocese again honors the first African American priest ordained in the Episcopal Church.

A diocesan-wide observance is planned for Saturday, May 1, 10:30 a.m., Church of the Holy Cross, 7507 Kelly Street at Collier, Homewood.

The Holy Eucharist that day will feature the preaching of the Rev. John C. Welch, Vice-President and Dean of Students of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is also President of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, Chief Chaplain for the City of Pittsburgh Police, and winner of the Church Women United Human Rights Award and NAACP 2007 Pastor of the Year.

The service will feature choirs, readers and acolytes from various congregations.

Other planned events include a luncheon; an Absalom Jones tribute; children's activities; and the awarding of a $100 U.S. Savings Bond to the winner of the Frank E. Bolden Literary Contest, sponsored by the diocesan Commission on Racism for middle- and high-school students. Click here for contest details.

The Legacy of Absalom Jones will be presented immediately following lunch. Dr. Vernell Lillie, who founded the Kuntu Repertory Theatre in 1974, has created a production especially for this occasion. It will be presented by members of the Kuntu Theater cast.

Kuntu Repertory Theatre is the oldest theater company in Pittsburgh presenting plays by and about African-Americans. Dr. Lillie describes this presentation as Absalom Jones examining his life through an internal dialogue.

Following the presentation there will be an opportunity to react and interact with the cast.

Registration for the day, including lunch, costs $8.00 per person or $15 for a family.  For information, call Nancy Bolden at 412-683-8888.

Click here for a printable registration form.

Click here for a printable flier.

Click here for printable bulletin inserts.

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