Dear Friends in Christ:

I write to remind you that on Saturday, February 1st at Trinity Cathedral, the diocese will observe our annual celebration of the life of Absalom Jones, the first African-American ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Diversity in New Ways: Inside the Church and Out.”

We are very pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Canon Sandye A. Wilson as our guest preacher for the day. Canon Wilson is currently rector of St. Andrew and Holy Communion Church in South Orange, New Jersey, and is truly a remarkable woman. She was the first black woman to serve as rector in the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the first woman priest elected to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, where she served for 18 years. She was also the first woman priest to address the opening session of the General Convention and the first woman priest to serve as National President of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Our Absalom Jones Day events will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a Missa Luba African Mass featuring our guest preacher. A number of workshops will be held after lunch, including one on creating liturgy with Canon Wilson. Other groups will center on a panel discussion with representatives from the Union of Black Episcopalians and a viewing of a diversity video with group conversation. A workshop for acolyte training will also be offered, focusing on primary duties and general knowledge. The day’s activities will conclude by 3:00 p.m.

I am very much looking forward to this very special day, and I strongly encourage you to join me in this celebration.

Faithfully your bishop,

(The Rt. Rev.) Dorsey W. M. McConnell, D.D.
The Bishop of Pittsburgh