Celebrating

the Life and Work of 

Panel Discussion

February 10, 2021

6:30 pm et

Celebration Service

February 20, 2021

10:30 AM ET – 12:00PM ET

Mutual Aid Project

January – March, 2021

Panel Discussion

Absalom Jones and the Essential Worker:

Yellow Fever 1793 – COVID 2019

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

Panelists

Moderator

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.

Hon.
Byron Rushing

Vice President of the House of Deputies

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Massachusetts state representative Byron Douglas Rushing was born in New York City on July 29, 1942. His father, William Rushing, worked as a janitor in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. His mother, Jamaican native Linda Turpin, migrated to New York City working as a seamstress. The family moved to Syracuse, New York, where Rushing attended Madison Junior High. He was praised for his public speaking, and entered various oratorical contests. He also attended a youth summer camp, under the direction of the Universalist Unitarian Church, which taught world peace and cultural understanding by bringing various racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious groups together. Rushing attended this camp throughout high school.

In 1960, Rushing graduated from Syracuse Central High School. Members of the Quaker church whom he met at his summer youth camp invited him to participate in another youth summer program operated by the American Friends Service Committee. Rushing was able to travel through Eastern and Western Europe. In the fall of 1960, Rushing attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the end of his junior year, Rushing decided to postpone his studies and fully dedicate his efforts to the Civil Rights Movement. He returned to Syracuse to work with the local chapter of CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] tackling issues of employment integration and police brutality.

Rushing moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1964 to work for the Northern Student Movement. He operated programs of youth tutoring, and voter education and registration. During this time, Rushing volunteered for various programs involving the Episcopalian church, his religious faith. He was hired by St. John’s Church to set up a community information center. The Massachusetts Council for Churches then hired Rushing to establish a community organizing project called Roxbury Associates. It was at Roxbury Associates that Rushing met his first wife, Andrea Benton.

From 1967 to 1969, Rushing worked as an orderly at Rochester General Hospital. In 1969, Rushing returned to Boston as the Director of the Urban Change program for the Urban League. Between 1972 and 1985, he worked as president of the Museum of Afro-American History. As president, he helped raise money for the purchase and restoration of what was cited as the oldest African American church building in the United States, the African Meeting House.

In 1982, Rushing was elected as a representative of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was the chief sponsor of the law to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools, and an original sponsor of the gay rights bill in Massachusetts. Rushing also led the Massachusetts state pension fund to launch community development investment of poor communities of Massachusetts. Rushing is an elected deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; a founding member of the Episcopal Urban Caucus; and serves on the boards of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus and the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice.

Dr. Deborah
Harmon Hines

Job Title

Read Bio...

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Dr. Nell
Braxton Gibson

Job Title

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’s work during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 when he and Richard Allen worked tirelessly on behalf of all persons in Philadelphia. Fast forward to the current COVID-19 pandemic; the participants will build a bridge between 1793 and 2020, showing how essential the African American community is during such times.

Celebration Service

Celebrating the Life and Work of

Absalom Jones

Online Service

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

Officiant

the rev.
Andrew M. L. Dietsche

About Rev. Rushing…

Massachusetts state representative Byron Douglas Rushing was born in New York City on July 29, 1942. His father, William Rushing, worked as a janitor in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. His mother, Jamaican native Linda Turpin, migrated to New York City working as a seamstress. The family moved to Syracuse, New York, where Rushing attended Madison Junior High. He was praised for his public speaking, and entered various oratorical contests. He also attended a youth summer camp, under the direction of the Universalist Unitarian Church, which taught world peace and cultural understanding by bringing various racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious groups together. Rushing attended this camp throughout high school.

In 1960, Rushing graduated from Syracuse Central High School. Members of the Quaker church whom he met at his summer youth camp invited him to participate in another youth summer program operated by the American Friends Service Committee. Rushing was able to travel through Eastern and Western Europe. In the fall of 1960, Rushing attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the end of his junior year, Rushing decided to postpone his studies and fully dedicate his efforts to the Civil Rights Movement. He returned to Syracuse to work with the local chapter of CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] tackling issues of employment integration and police brutality.

Rushing moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1964 to work for the Northern Student Movement. He operated programs of youth tutoring, and voter education and registration. During this time, Rushing volunteered for various programs involving the Episcopalian church, his religious faith. He was hired by St. John’s Church to set up a community information center. The Massachusetts Council for Churches then hired Rushing to establish a community organizing project called Roxbury Associates. It was at Roxbury Associates that Rushing met his first wife, Andrea Benton.

From 1967 to 1969, Rushing worked as an orderly at Rochester General Hospital. In 1969, Rushing returned to Boston as the Director of the Urban Change program for the Urban League. Between 1972 and 1985, he worked as president of the Museum of Afro-American History. As president, he helped raise money for the purchase and restoration of what was cited as the oldest African American church building in the United States, the African Meeting House.

In 1982, Rushing was elected as a representative of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was the chief sponsor of the law to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools, and an original sponsor of the gay rights bill in Massachusetts. Rushing also led the Massachusetts state pension fund to launch community development investment of poor communities of Massachusetts. Rushing is an elected deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; a founding member of the Episcopal Urban Caucus; and serves on the boards of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus and the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice.

Sermon

the honorable
Byron Rushing

About Rev. Rushing…

Massachusetts state representative Byron Douglas Rushing was born in New York City on July 29, 1942. His father, William Rushing, worked as a janitor in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. His mother, Jamaican native Linda Turpin, migrated to New York City working as a seamstress. The family moved to Syracuse, New York, where Rushing attended Madison Junior High. He was praised for his public speaking, and entered various oratorical contests. He also attended a youth summer camp, under the direction of the Universalist Unitarian Church, which taught world peace and cultural understanding by bringing various racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious groups together. Rushing attended this camp throughout high school.

In 1960, Rushing graduated from Syracuse Central High School. Members of the Quaker church whom he met at his summer youth camp invited him to participate in another youth summer program operated by the American Friends Service Committee. Rushing was able to travel through Eastern and Western Europe. In the fall of 1960, Rushing attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the end of his junior year, Rushing decided to postpone his studies and fully dedicate his efforts to the Civil Rights Movement. He returned to Syracuse to work with the local chapter of CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] tackling issues of employment integration and police brutality.

Rushing moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1964 to work for the Northern Student Movement. He operated programs of youth tutoring, and voter education and registration. During this time, Rushing volunteered for various programs involving the Episcopalian church, his religious faith. He was hired by St. John’s Church to set up a community information center. The Massachusetts Council for Churches then hired Rushing to establish a community organizing project called Roxbury Associates. It was at Roxbury Associates that Rushing met his first wife, Andrea Benton.

From 1967 to 1969, Rushing worked as an orderly at Rochester General Hospital. In 1969, Rushing returned to Boston as the Director of the Urban Change program for the Urban League. Between 1972 and 1985, he worked as president of the Museum of Afro-American History. As president, he helped raise money for the purchase and restoration of what was cited as the oldest African American church building in the United States, the African Meeting House.

In 1982, Rushing was elected as a representative of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was the chief sponsor of the law to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools, and an original sponsor of the gay rights bill in Massachusetts. Rushing also led the Massachusetts state pension fund to launch community development investment of poor communities of Massachusetts. Rushing is an elected deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; a founding member of the Episcopal Urban Caucus; and serves on the boards of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus and the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice.

Join via Computer:

Click the button below to join the online Zoom service. You may be prompted to download the Zoom app. After Zoom is installed, click the link at 10:30 AM and you will join the service.

Join via Telephone

To listen the service using your telephone, call (646) 558-8656. When prompted, enter meeting ID XXX XXX XXXX#

Mutual Aid Project

Blessed Absalom Jones

Celebrate His Triumph and Continue His Work!

January, 2021 – March 31, 2021

When we remember Blessed Absalom Jones’s life, we should not simply give accolades because he was the first Episcopal priest who was not a white man. 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. Blessed Absalom Jones’s entire life is an example to us because he worked in 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.

At the height of the 1793 Philadelphia Yellow Fever epidemic, the Mayor asked the Free African Society to assist. Members of the organization provided nursing services, removed corpses, dug graves and buried the dead.  His advocacy is demonstrated by his leadership in the December 30, 1799 petition which he and other free Blacks sent Congress. It presented the argument that slavery was unconstitutional.

This year (2021), your congregation has the opportunity to celebrate the triumph of Blessed Absalom by continuing his work. This year our Absalom Jones Celebration will include a Diocesan-wide effort to help those who need. Below is contact information for some agencies which are helping those in need in our diocese. They are seeking tangible items to give to those they service. Please recruit one or two members of your congregation who will:

  • Contact the agency to see what tangible items they currently need.
  • Gather funds from your congregation to buy the tangible items.
  • Purchase the items in bulk and have them sent directly to the agency
Mutual Aid Project Team Leader Registration
Contact Us
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Add questions or comments.

Below are organizations in need of donations to support their services for individuals that have re-entered civilian life after release from an Incarcerated facility.  We suggest your congregation organize a collection and consider donation to one of these organizations or one in your community.  To demonstrate that the event is in the honor of Blessed Absalom Jones and part of Episcopal Diocese of New York we would ask you to include the Blessed Absalom Jones Mutual Aid flyer

Exodus Transitional Community

Contact: Julio Medina, Founder CEO | www.etcny.org

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

Mid-Hudson

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  |  www.made-transitions.org/programs

Suggested Donations: Socks, Gloves, Thermals

Region 2

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

Ulster Immigrant Defense Network

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 University with a long-standing affiliation with the Episcopal Church.

Donations can be made as follows: Online banking via Zelle to: mdwernham@gmail.com or checks payable to the Union of Black Episcopalians, memo: Absalom Jones and mail to Mabel Wernham, Treasurer, 2040 Bruckner Blvd. Apt 14A, Bronx, NY 10473.