Growing in Love of God and Neighbor

The Celebration of Juneteenth

Good morning,

I would like to share with you our celebration of Juneteenth by reading this historical summary. You will also find this summary in the Parish Notes.

On December 31st, 1862, known as Freedom’s Eve, free African Americans assembled to hear the news of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863. This proclamation freed the slaves throughout the confederate states. (The Thirteenth Amendment passed by Congress on January 31st, 1865, to the Constitution actually codified the end of slavery throughout the United States.) In Texas, enslaved black people were not freed until June 19, 1865, when 2,000 Union troops moved into Galveston Bay, Texas to announce the freedom of 250,000 enslaved men and women in Texas, a day we now celebrate as Juneteenth.

Although long celebrated by African Americans, Juneteenth remained largely unknown by many Americans and omitted from textbooks and instructions for decades in schools throughout our nation. An African American woman, Opal Lee, teacher, counselor, and civil rights activist made the recognition and celebration of Juneteenth her life’s mission. With the help of many who shared her vision. Opal Lee, also recognized as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” led the march and fight to celebrate Juneteenth throughout the United States and on June 17, 2021, President Joseph Biden signed the bill recognizing Juneteenth as a national holiday. Subsequently, on May 3, 2024, Ms. Lee now 97 years old was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Opal Lee’s life epitomized this message offered by Nelson Mandela, “People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.”

The members of the God’s Diversity Committee are pleased to report the following:

  1. Please see a copy of the General Order No. 3, June 19, 1865, on the church doors.
  2. We have also posted on the Parish Bulletin Board inspirational quotes.

In conclusion, to accomplish our current and future goals for our church community, the God’s Diversity Committee needs your help. If you are interested in joining our committee, please contact members of our committee and/or join us on the third Thursday of each month beginning again in September at 7 pm on Zoom. We will post contact information in the Parish Notes.

For more information, please contact Bob Litsinger