submitted by Constance Eve
It’s a magnificent sight! An enthusiastic and anticipatory Sunday Morning Congregation, almost double in size during the early months of the new ministry of Pastor Stephen Lane at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, not only viewed as a gift of St. Philip’s, but to the entire community. Pastor Steve will be officially installed on Sunday, March 10 by The Right Rev. Dr. R. William Franklin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of WNY.
A man of keen perception, positive energy and vision, Pastor Steve’s added love of and talent in music, enveloped in the beautiful Sunday morning sounds that fill the sanctuary! When asked about his greatest hopes for his ministry, his positive response gives all who listen renewed strength and commitment to serve!
“As we look at the setting that we are faced with today,” he says, “we can see a marked erosion of the place of church and faith in the community…There’s a whole new generation of people that are interested in social justice, and they have created new and exciting organizations to help, but they are mostly divorced from faith based groups. A role that churches can play is to help replace the soul in social justice. Many of the younger generation that care and help others, don’t realize that this is exactly the sort of thing that Jesus advocated for.”
St. Philip’s is located in a unique place. As an African American church affiliated with a predominantly White Diocese, it can be uniquely gifted to help in the struggle for integration and reconciliation with the disparate community. White reach to Black can be met with Black reaching to White. We, in the Episcopal Church can lead the way in this better than most others. In our context, there is no “other”; we are all people of God. This community of faith can be an example of radical welcome. We can be a place where all are truly welcomed.
St. Phillip’s one of the first African American congregations in Buffalo is located across from ECMC. It has an illustrious history, including being the home of Michael Curry, the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church. St. Phillip’s is looking to grow and its new Priest in Charge specializes in new, imaginative worship.
For persons wishing to attend and need transportation, it’s as simple as calling the Church Office for arrangements or details at 833-0442.