“Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice”

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Christ Church Cathedral

The Bishop Herbert Thompson, Jr. Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians will hold their Annual Symposium and Festal Eucharist celebrating the life and legacy of Absalom Jones on Saturday, February 10 at Christ Church Cathedral. This celebration is a collaborative effort of the historically black churches in Southern Ohio.

Symposium – 9 a.m.

Our keynote speaker is Catherine Meeks, PhD, author of Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America, Racial Healing consultant and Midwife to the Soul.

For more than 30 years, Meeks has tirelessly advocated for racial healing and social justice in general, giving voice to those living on the margins of society and promoting a healthy racial dialogue worldwide. She is a newspaper columnist, frequent radio commentator and the author of several other well-known books, including Standing on Their Shoulders: A Celebration of the Wisdom of African-American Women.

Meeks is the retired Clara Carter Acree Distinguished Professor of Socio Cultural Studies and professor of Social Science and Director of the Lane Center for Community Engagement and Service at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga. She has been blessed with numerous awards and commendations for her commitment to social change, literacy and racial harmony. Meeks has been honored as a visiting distinguished scholar at Pepperdine University, Visiting Lecturer at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, frequent national workshop leader and lay preacher in the Episcopal Church since her retirement. She currently serves as the Chair of the Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Ga.

Awards Luncheon – 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Plenary Session – 1:45 to 3 p.m.

A bishops panel with Episcopal, Lutheran, African Methodist Episcopal and Christian Methodist Episcopal bishops participating.

Festal Eucharist – 3:30 p.m.

The Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher-Stewart, Preacher

The Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher-Stewart serves as the associate rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., where she is the founder of the Center for the Study of Faith in Justice. Fisher-Stewart spent 20 years working as a police officer for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. She joined the department in 1972, four years after riots destroyed parts of the city following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. At the time, African-Americans made up 70% of the people living in the nation’s capital; at the same time, the police department was overwhelmingly white and police-community relations were strained.

Eucharist will feature a mass choir comprised of choirs from our historically black churches and other choirs in Southern Ohio, accompanied by the popular Theodicy Jazz Collective.

This event is free, but tickets are required. Register here. Christ Church Cathedral is located at 318 E 4th Street (corner of 4th and Sycamore) in downtown Cincinnati.

The Absalom Jones Symposium will also mark the conclusion of a fundraising drive for Voorhees College and St. Augustine University, two historically black colleges and universities founded by the Episcopal Church. Donations can be sent to the Herbert Thompson chapter of the UBE at 810 Mathews Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45215, or online by going to the UBE website, www.ube.org, and clicking on DONATE.