Black Episcopalians welcome all to four-day virtual revival
‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ to feature special preaching, music
The Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) invites all to join a virtual churchwide revival July 27-30 that will feature stirring music, testimonies, learning, and messages from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and others.
For four nights, Black Episcopalians will lead The Episcopal Church in worship and preaching, focusing on the following themes inspired by the hymn Lift Every Voice and Sing: gifts from the past, challenges in the present, and promise for the future. All services will be livestreamed. The UBE revival also includes daytime sessions featuring panel and group discussions, prayer, and fellowship opportunities. Register for these enriching sessions at https://www.episcopalchurch.org/episcopal-revivals/ube-revival/.
“What sets this churchwide revival apart is the way it will draw upon the Black church tradition to fill our hearts and souls,” said the Very Rev. Kim Coleman, president of the UBE. “Traditionally UBE holds an in-person conference each year that includes some of the same elements: compelling music, inspiring worship, powerful sermons, illuminating teaching, and stimulating conversations on where people of color have been, where we are, and where we are going.
“This virtual revival will lift up Jesus and invite us to renew our commitment to establishing God’s Beloved Community,” Coleman said. “We welcome all people, especially Episcopalians, regardless of race or ethnicity, to join us in engaging the continuing realities of racism and racial injustice today while experiencing the vibrant spirituality that has enabled Black people to persevere and thrive against the odds.”
The presiding bishop’s office and evangelism team said they are grateful to be partnering with the Union of Black Episcopalians in the revival.
“The whole church has so much to learn from Black Episcopalians about opening our hearts to revival and joining God’s ongoing work of transformation and renewal,” said the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, canon to the presiding bishop for evangelism, reconciliation, and creation care. “Especially in 2021, as we continue healing from the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism — both of which target and deeply wound people of color — we need revival.”
Worship starts at 7 p.m. Eastern and will feature the following:
- Tues., July 27 – Opening Memorial, “Revive Us Again,” Curry
- Wed., July 28 – Evensong, “Faith,” the Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago
- Thurs., July 29 – Liturgy of the Word, “Hope,” the Rt. Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont
- Fri., July 30 – Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant, “Rising Sun,” the Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, Fellowship of Affirming Ministries in Philadelphia.
Evening revival worship services will premiere on The Episcopal Church and UBE Facebook pages and YouTube channels. These services are free and open to the public. Paid registrants can also watch the services via Zoom with other participants.
The daytime program runs July 28-30. Panelists include Curry; Byron Rushing, vice president of the House of Deputies; the Rev. Altagracia Perez-Bullard, professor at Virginia Theological Seminary; the Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart, scholar, author and former police captain; Archbishop Julio Murray of the Anglican Church in Central America; Georgia State Sen. Kim Jackson; and the Rev. Paul Anthony Daniels, theologian, scholar and thought-leader. See the schedule and register for the daytime events here.
Coleman said the revival offers something for everyone. “History buffs will enjoy learning about the original Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Collection of African American Spirituals and Other Songs that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and was the precursor to the Lift Every Voice and Sing II hymnal many Episcopal parishes have in our pews,” she said. “Others will enjoy the afternoon seminars, guided breakout sessions, affinity group gatherings, and empowering evening worship with highly acclaimed preachers and robust music. There will be special programming each day for children and youth. We conclude the evening with singing and dance experiences that will make you think you have left the virtual platform.”
Learn more about the Union of Black Episcopalians at ube.org.
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The Episcopal Church welcomes all as it seeks to follow Jesus Christ into loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God, each other, and the earth. Embracing a legacy of inclusion, The Episcopal Church encourages the expression of leadership gifts by all peoples of the church. As a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest group of Christians in the world, The Episcopal Church includes 109 dioceses in 17 nations and territories, with about 1.8 million members. Learn more at episcopalchurch.org.