We are delighted to celebrate our annual African Fellowship Sunday this week. And for this occasion we welcome the Rev. Vincent Shamo, the Rector of St. Mary’s in Palms Episcopal Church to the pulpit this morning at the 10:30 service.
The African community is an integral part of the diversity of St. James’. Our parishioners have roots in West Africa, especially Nigeria and Sierra Leone. You may notice some differences in the Eucharistic liturgy, as it is taken from the Nigerian Book of Common Prayer. But you will also recognize its similarities and the distinctly Anglican form the Nigerian and American prayer books share.
The Episcopal Church is one of 38 autonomous provinces that make up the Anglican Communion—sibling churches, as it were, descended from the same parent Church of England.
Even with similar texts, though, styles of worship across the Communion can vary widely. This Sunday we will once again get a glimpse of the color, movement and music that often characterize African worship. The joyful offertory dancing of the service is an appropriate context in which to begin our stewardship campaign. We all can learn something about the joy of giving, and indeed the joy of praising God, from our African Fellowship!
Festivities continue after the service at St. James’ School Hall, and, as with the Heavenly Banquet, everyone is invited!