Story and photos by the Rev. Canon Debbie Low-Skinner
The Third Annual Diocesan Juneteenth Celebration took place on June 16 at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Oakland. This was a joint effort of DioCal, the Diocesan Afro Anglican Commission, and the local chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians.
The celebrant was the Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson, UBE Western Regional Director and Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oakland. The preacher was the Very Rev. Eric Metoyer, Dean of the San Francisco Deanery. The Gospel was read by the Ven. Canon Carolyn Bolton, Deacon of St. Paul’s, Oakland. The host was the Rev. Jim Dahlin, Rector of St. Augustine’s.
More than 100 years old, St. Augustine’s is one of the two historic Black churches in DioCal (the other is St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, near the Fillmore District in San Francisco). In 1969, St. Augustine’s was the site of the first free breakfasts served by the Black Panthers to feed hungry inner-city children.
Among the many attendees were members of St. Augustine’s, St. Paul’s, St. Cyprian’s, Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), Canon Amy Cook from the diocesan staff, members of the Standing Committee, and clergy, including the Revs. Michael Barham, Dr. Ruth Meyers, Will Scott, Javier Torres, Jane Stratford, and Jeff Dodge.