Nearly two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation a Union general named Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom. The date was June 19, 1865. Ever since that moment black people in The United States have celebrated Juneteenth through prayers and worship, with parades and picnics. With the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and the energizing of the Black Lives Matter movement attention to the holiday became widespread and acknowledgement of black liberation became a prominent point of attention in our nation. In June 2021 President Biden declared Juneteenth to be a Federal Holiday.
FUMC determined last summer that we would acknowledge Juneteenth in our worship and that we would set it aside as a time to reaffirm our own congregational commitment to antiracism. As Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of Black People from slavery, Antiracism seeks the liberation of all people through the particular work of dismantling racism and its impact on our community and its institutions.
This Sunday in worship we will celebrate Juneteenth and our commitments to antiracism in liturgy, in the sermon and in our hymns and we hope highlight the ways the gospel calls us to this work.
We will also celebrate our graduates this Sunday by hearing a bit about where they are heading and sending them off with a blessing. What a joyous day it will be in worship. Please join us!
Led by: Rev. Matt Weiler