Historic St. George’s completed the circle, attending services at Mother Bethel in celebration of Richard Allen’s 250th birthday, celebrated at Mother Bethel Sunday morning service on February 14, 2010.
Becoming aware just a few weeks ago of the landmark Allen celebration, St. George’s Church Council voted unanimously to return the blessing to Mother Bethel who, en masse, attended services at St. George’s in October. St. George’s Sunday services were held at Mother Bethel.
Hampered by the heavy snows in Philly last week the congregation from St. George’s numbered about 20, including our good friend the Rev. Dr. Robert Williams from the General Commission of Archives and History whose attendance was recognized.
Though small in number, St. George’s remains BIG in excitement and enthusiasm for the renewed and deepening relationship with Mother Bethel. The congregations hope to begin participation in Every Church a Peace Church’s “Great Conversation” about race in America.
Earlier February 14, on behalf of St. George’s I attended Sunday morning services at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, the progeny of Richard Allen’s colleague Absalom Jones whose annual feast day in the second Sunday in February. At that service, I presented an identical cross made of original nails (1792) from the St. George’s balcony, identical to the one given Mother Bethel and Pastor Rev. Dr. Mark Kelly Tyler in October.
Later this year, the last of the identical crosses will be presented to Mother African Zoar, the oldest African American United Methodist Church in the Connection, progeny of Harry Hosier and Lunar Brown.
Article by Rev. Alfred Day, pastor of St. George’s UMC.