St. Alban’s Celebrates the Feast Day of Episcopal Seminarian and Martyr

Marcea Paul

The Rev. Canon Marcea Paul, Chief of Staff for the Diocese of Texas, delivered the message at three services at St. Alban’s, Waco, this past Sunday for the Jonathan Myrick Daniels Feast Day. She also facilitated an interactive Sunday School session between two services underscoring the elements of human dignity. 

About Daniels: An Episcopal seminarian and martyr who heard the cry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to join him for a march in Selma, Alabama, he was a civil rights activist who recruited others in his efforts. Studying at what is now known as the Episcopal Divinity School, Daniels was provoked and moved by Mary’s Song while in Evening Prayer. With his faith challenged, he decided to go. He and others ended up getting arrested, and with no transportation, they found themselves stranded in another town in Alabama. After a confrontation in a store while trying to purchase something to drink, Daniels ended up paying the ultimate price in seeking justice for all as he saved the life of teenager Ruby Sales, taking a bullet intended for her, as he was shot by an unpaid special deputy and was killed instantly.

Canon Paul’s sermon, When Division Leads to Peace, focused on coming together, engaging others and their differences in conversation, sharing peace, and reflecting on what God has called us to do. She challenged the congregation to speak up and out against racism, violence, hatred, and oppression. She challenged them to follow Jesus in this world by working against policies of oppression. She also reminded them of the Lambeth Conference’s Call on Human Dignity, in which our bishops affirmed that God’s creation of humanity is a gift and is blessed by God. She closed by sharing that our Presiding Bishop calls us to be people whose way of life is the way of Jesus and his way of love- to no longer act in any way that hurts any child of God.

Marcea Paul

In between two services, Canon Paul facilitated an interactive Sunday School session where she expounded on the elements discussed in her sermon around human dignity and the importance of listening to and learning from others. She also shared an excerpt of a documentary featuring the late Congressman John Lewis and his experience as a young civil rights activist, in which he gave advice about pressing on because racism lives on. She highlighted Lewis’s call to get into good trouble, necessary trouble. With an engaged audience, Paul facilitated a discussion with questions and answers, hoping that she made a difference in the lives of those near and far.  



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