On June 19, we mark Juneteenth, which commemorates the date in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to ensure that all enslaved people in the state were freed. While Juneteenth celebrations began in 1865 in Texas, the date has gradually become recognized as a holiday or official occasion by an increasing number of states and communities, and a federal holiday in 2021. How will you observe Juneteenth?
Thanks to the good work of our friends at the Episcopal Dioceses of Iowa and California, we are happy to share with you some excellent collections of Juneteenth resources compiled with both faith communities and people of goodwill in mind.
To learn more about the history of Juneteenth and how friends, families, and people working with children may celebrate, check out these resources from the Beloved Community Initiative, a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. (For those working with youth in classrooms or community programs, these Juneteenth resources from Learning for Justice may also be inspiring.)
For liturgical resources, prayers and suggestions designed for faith communities, you’ll find many treasures in this compilation by the Episcopal Diocese of California, as well as some links in the collection from Iowa. Be sure, too, to check out this Episcopal News Service article highlighting Juneteenth commemorations across The Episcopal Church.
If you are aware of other resources, either liturgical or secular, feel free to share them with Janet Morford at EMM, and we will add them to our collection, for 2023 and subsequent years.
For now, let’s take a moment to celebrate Juneteenth, to remember and honor the incredibly rich and valuable contributions that people of African descent have made to the United States and to the world, despite the oppression, violence, and discrimination they have faced. May this be an opportunity to affirm and recommit ourselves to treating each of God’s beloved with the dignity and respect that all deserve.