Panel Discussion


February 10, 2021

6:30 pm et



February 20, 2021

10:30 AM ET – 12:00PM ET

Mutual Aid


January – March, 2021

Panel Discussion

Absalom Jones and the Essential Worker:

Yellow Fever 1793 – COVID 2019

Wednesday, February 10, 2021*  |  6:30 pm et

*This live event has already occurred.
Please click on the video below to view the recorded session:




The Rt. Rev.
Mary D. Glasspool

Bishop Assistant

Read Bio...

The Rt. Rev. Mary D. Glasspool came to the Diocese of New York as Assistant Bishop in April, 2016. Previously she had been Suffragan Bishop of Los Angeles (elected December 2009, consecrated May 2010). She was born on Staten Island, raised in Goshen, NY, where her father, Douglas Murray Glasspool, served as rector of St. James’ Church until his death in 1989, and graduated Bachelor of Arts Magna cum Laude from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA in 1976; earned her Master of Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA in 1981; was ordained a deacon in June 1981 by Bishop Paul Moore, Jr. of New York; and in March 1982 was ordained a priest by Bishop Lyman Ogilby of Pennsylvania.  From 1981 to 1984, she served as assistant to the rector, and later interim priest-in-charge, of St. Paul’s Church, Philadelphia, moving from there to be rector of St. Luke’s and St. Margaret’s Church, Boston, where she remained until 1992. She then moved to the Diocese of Maryland, first as rector of St. Margaret’s Church in Annapolis (1992-2001) and then, until her election in 2009 as suffragan bishop of Los Angeles, as Canon to the Bishops in the diocese. Bishop Mary is committed to battling the evils of racism in order to bring about the Beloved Community of all God’s people.

The Hon.
Byron Rushing

Vice President of the House of Deputies

Read Bio...
Public Historian.
Community Organizer.
Byron Rushing served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1983 to 2018, where his priorities were human and civil rights, local economic and housing development; and housing and health care for all.
From 1972 to 1985, he was President of the Museum of Afro-American History, when Museum purchased and began the restoration of the African Meeting House, the oldest extant black church building in the United States. In 1979, Byron oversaw the lobbying effort in Congress to establish the Boston African American National Historical Site, a component of the National Park Service.
During the 1960’s he was active in the civil rights movement–working for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and for the Northern Student Movement. He directed a group of organizers, Roxbury Associates, who helped to found the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation, one of the first CDCs in the nation.
Byron was first elected a lay deputy to General Convention in 1973; the chaplain to its House of Deputies in 1994–the first layperson to hold this position. He now serves as Vice-President of the House of Deputies.
During all his career Byron has worked for and with community-based organizations–for greater political participation and against neighborhood debilitation. In his retirement he continues his work to increase the understanding of the history of poor and working class people; and of people of color in The Episcopal Church.

Dr. Deborah
Harmon Hines

Professor of Radiology Emeritus

Read Bio...
Professor of Radiology Emeritus and retired Vice Provost, UMASS Medical School. Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Nursing at UMMS and Meharry Medical College.
National UBE President, 1982 – 1988; Trustee Church Pension Fund, 2000 – 2012; Western Massachusetts Deputy to General Convention, 1991 – 2012; LEVAS Editorial Committee, 1988 – 1993.


Dr. Nell
Braxton Gibson

Social Justice Activist
and Author

Read Bio...

Nell Braxton Gibson has been a member of the Diocese of New York since 1966 and has served in many capacities during those years. Among her positions have been Executive Assistant to the Bishop of New York, member of the Standing Committee, member of the Search Committee for Diocesan Bishop, member of the Executive Council and deputy to General Convention. Prior to her retirement she served as Associate General Secretary for Inclusiveness and Justice at the National Council of Churches and Coordinator for the Episcopal Urban Caucus. She is presently a member of the Reparations Committee of the diocese and a member of the Board of Directors of St. Mary’s AIDS Center

She has been a social justice activist since her days in the Student Movement during the 1960s and an international justice activist since 1964. She is the author of a memoir entitled, Too Proud to Bend: Journey of a Civil Rights Foot Soldier. Nell Gibson was featured in the Amsterdam News and the New York Daily News as an Unsung Hero of the Civil Rights Movement and she joined other Civil Rights activists in an airing of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Empire State College and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University. She is listed in Who’s Who Among Black Americans.

This panel will discuss the importance of Absalom Jones’ work during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 when he and Richard Allen worked tirelessly to nurse the sick and bury the dead in Philadelphia. Fast-forward to the current COVID-19 pandemic: The participants will build a bridge between 1793 and 2020, discussing Jones’ responses to the overall crisis and lessons learned, while examining essential opportunities for strengthening community ties during these trying times.

Celebration Service

Celebrating the Life and Work of

Blessed Absalom Jones

Online Service

Saturday, February 20, 2021*  |  10:30 am et – 12:00 pm et


the rt. rev.
Andrew ML Dietsche

Bishop of New York


the hon.

Vice President of the House of Deputies

Service Highlights

Diocesan Festival Choir

First organized by beloved award-winning organist BILL RANDOLPH, Musical Director at the Church of the Intercession and organist at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and JEANNINE OTIS, Musical Director of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, the choir will be featured virtually and facilitated technically by DORIAN LAKE of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery.

Jay Hoggard - Jazz Musician

JAY HOGGARD, an internationally recognized jazz musician and a professor in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, will perform an original medley on the vibraphone for the prelude.

Tina Fabrique - Broadway Performer

TINA FABRIQUE will perform IF I CAN HELP SOMEBODY, a favorite of Dr. King. TINA was just awarded an Audelco Award for her lifetime participation in the theater. She was presented by Tony-Award winning Theatreworks USA in a piece about Ella Fitzgerald virtually in December 2020, and has toured the world singing the music of Mahalia Jackson. She also sang the theme song to Reading Rainbow hosted by LeVar Burton.

Poet Gold - Spoken Word Artist

POET GOLD is the poet laureate of Duchess County, NY. You may have heard of her excellent work at Rural and Migrant Ministries of the Episcopal Church, Richard Witt Director. POET GOLD works tirelessly with young people to inspire them to build community through creative expression.

Larry Marshall – Broadway Performer

Larry Marshall (Tony Nominee and Grammy Award-wining artist) has been featured in over 16 Broadway Shows. He played Simon Zealotes in the film Jesus Christ Superstar and most recently appeared on Broadway with Sara Bareillies in Waitress as Old Joe. Larry has been honored by The New England Conservatory as a distinguished alumnus and recently by the Illuminart Theater Company as a theater pioneer. He is a member of Saint Marks Church in the Bowery.

Michael James Leslie - Broadway Performer

Finally, we’ll enjoy MICHAEL JAMES LESLIE, a Broadway veteran who starred as The Lion in THE WIZ on Broadway with Stephanie Mills. He has worked with Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba, and Benny Anderson as a performer in KRISTINA, at Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall.

*This live event has already occurred.
Please click on the video below to view the recorded session:

Mutual Aid Project

Blessed Absalom Jones

Celebrate His Triumph and Continue His Work!

January, 2021 – March 31, 2021

While it is extraordinary that Blessed Absalom Jones was the first Episcopal priest who was not a white man, his accomplishments were many and significant, serving as catalysts for change that still have impact today. He was ordained as deacon in 1795 and as priest in 1802. This opened the doors of the Episcopal Church to the diversity we see today in our Episcopal clergy. Jones worked with others in his Philadelphia community to provide mutual aid and advocacy for the end of slavery. In 1787, he was instrumental in the founding of Free African Society, a mutual aid, benevolent organization which collected dues and distributed funds to those in need. Blessed Absalom Jones’ entire life is an example to us — he stepped up as a leader while never ceasing to roll up his sleeves and jump in to execute the work that needed to get done.

At the height of the 1793 Philadelphia Yellow Fever epidemic, the Mayor of Philadelphia asked Jones and the Free African Society to assist. Jones, along with other members, nursed the sick, removed corpses, dug graves and buried the dead. After that compassionate work, when FAS members were accused of wrongdoing, Jones’ sense of responsibility and belief in the power of truth compelled him to craft a landmark published response with Richard Allen, A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People, During the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia, in the Year 1793: And a Reputation of some Censures, Thrown upon Them in Some Late Publications. His advocacy was further demonstrated by his leadership in the December 30, 1799 petition to Congress, in which he and other free Blacks argued that slavery was unconstitutional. 

This year, (2021) your congregation has the opportunity to continue the work of Blessed Absalom Jones by participating in the Absalom Jones Mutual Aid Project, a Diocesan-wide effort to help those in need in our communities.

Join us as a Mutual Aid Team Leader!

Mutual Aid Team Leaders will:

  • Select a local nonprofit organization and determine specific needs 
  • Gather funds from your congregation for the purpose of purchasing the items in bulk 
  • Make arrangements for the items to be delivered to the organization in the name of your congregation in partnership with the Absalom Jones Mutual Aid Project and the Episcopal Diocese of New York

We have compiled a list of suggested agencies that are seeking tangible items to provide much needed support to those they serve, however we encourage team leaders to research and select agencies in their immediate communities.

To sign up as an onsite Mutual Aid Team Leader for your congregation, click below. We will send you tips and participation materials.

Click to Sign Up as a Mutual Aid Team Leader
Contact Us
Add questions or comments.

Below are organizations in need of donations to support their services: 

Exodus Transitional Community

Contact: Julio Medina, Founder CEO |

Suggested Donations: Socks, Gloves, Thermals

New York City

East Harlem – Wellness Center

2268 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10035
Phone: (917) 492-0990
Fax: (212) 722-6669


Newburgh Office

85 Grand Street
Newburgh, NY 12550
Phone: (845) 565-2700

Poughkeepsie Office

91-99 Cannon Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 452-7620

M.A.D.E. (Making a Difference Everyday)

Contact: Tony L. Earl Jr. Executive Director  |

Suggested Donations: Socks, Gloves, Thermals

Region 2

120 US-9W
Haverstraw, NY 10927
Phone: 347-387-7910

Ulster Immigrant Defense Network/Red de Defensa de Immigrantes de Ulster 

Contact: Helaine Meisler | (914) 466-0100 |

Suggested Donations: Toiletries, Bandaids, Combs, Brushes, Diapers (sizes 3–6)

Offering Your Support

Make a Donation in Honor of

Absalom Jones

Offerings associated with the Absalom Jones Celebration  will be donated to Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, a member of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities with a long-standing affiliation with the Episcopal Church.

Online Donations:

Check Donations:

Payable to: Union of Black Episcopalians

Memo: Absalom Jones

Mail to:
Mabel Wernham, Treasurer
2040 Bruckner Blvd. Apt 14A  |  Bronx, NY 10473

Organized by the Absalom Jones Celebration Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
For questions or more information, please email Carla Burns.