Bulletin Insert: Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost (B)

Union of Black Episcopalians

September 6, 2015

The Reverend Alexander Crummell

On Sunday, September 6, the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) celebrates the life and legacy of their notable saint, The Reverend Alexander Crummell. This day is also designated as UBE Sunday to commemorate the racial justice ministry of this organization which was an outgrowth of the Rev. Crummell’s advocacy.

Born March 3, 1819 in New York City, Alexander Crummell struggled against racism all his life. As a young man, he was driven out of an academy in New Hampshire, dismissed as a candidate for Holy Orders in New York and rejected for admittance to General Seminary. Ordained in 1844 as a priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts, he left for England after being excluded from participating in diocesan convention.

After receiving a degree from Cambridge, he went to Liberia as a missionary. A model Christian republic seemed possible in Liberia. He traveled extensively in the United States urging blacks to immigrate to Liberia and support the work of the Church there. On returning to Liberia, he worked to establish a national Episcopal Church. Political opposition and a lack of funding finally forced him to return to the United States.

He concentrated his efforts on establishing a strong urban presence of independent black congregations that would be centers of worship, education and social service. When southern bishops proposed that a separate missionary district be created for black congregations, Crummell created  a national convocation to fight the proposal. The Union of Black Episcopalians is an outgrowth of that organization.

His faith in God, his preseverance in spite of repeated discouragement, his perception that the Church transcended the racism and limited vision of its rulers, and his unfailing belief in the goodness and greatness of black people are the legacy of this Afro-American pioneer.


Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Alexander Crummell, whom you called to teach the Gospel to those who were far off and those who were near.  Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Psalm and Lessons:

Psalms: 19: 7 -11  Lessons: Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 2: 7 -11, 17-18;  James 1:2-5; Mark 4:1-10, 13-20

Prayers of the People:

Presider: Gracious God, you fill us with faith and courage to confront the world’s injustice and to carry your abundant love to all the world: Hear us as we pray, saying: We give thanks to God in prayer; fill us with your Spirit.

Litanist:  Raise up evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, who will preach the Gospel to those who are far off and to those who are near, and bring the unsearchable riches of Christ to all people.

We give thanks to God in prayer; fill us with your Spirit.

Direct the counsel and knowledge of all leaders, Almighty One, that they may confront injustice and racism with words and acts of wisdom and compassion.

We give thanks to God in prayer; fill us with your Spirit.

Visit with your healing power all who live in places of thorns and threat, violence and racism, the rocky soil and scorched earth of poverty and injustice: Sow your seeds of love into the soil of good hearts, that the earth may bring forth an abundant harvest of justice and truth.

We give thanks to God in prayer; fill us with your Spirit.

Revive our souls, O Gracious One, and fill our communities with perseverance and enduring faith, that with warm, emotional and impulsive energy we may reclaim neighborhoods in kindness and in peace.

We give thanks to God in prayer; fill us with your Spirit.

Into your abundant heart, O God, we offer the cares of our hearts as we pray in intercession, especially for ___.

Hear our glad shouts of thanksgiving and praise as we bring to you the gratitude of our souls, especially for ___.

We entrust into your eternal love all who have died, especially ___.

We give thanks to God in prayer; fill us with your Spirit.

Presider: Loving and gracious Father, you called your faithful servant Alexander Crummell to bring leadership and hope to your Church through the gifts and spirit of the African race: Fill us with your Spirit, that we may continue the work, building institutions and relationships of justice, truth, and reconciling peace, through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


UBE logoTo learn more about UBE or support their ministry of racial justice and reconciliation:

Union of Black Episcopalians
701 Oglethorpe Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011



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