Wednesday, January 17, 2007

For the Rev. Martin Luther King: Sing!

St. George's Episcopal Church will celebrate its next U2charist on Saturday January 20 at 5 pm.
This Saturday's service will honor the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr and is open to all including (at least this time), the BBC.

The Reverend Dr. Paige Blair, wasn't the first pastor to use U2's music or Christian message in a church service, but St. George's did originate the U2charist. St. George's holds a U2charist every three or four months (the last coincided with the "Stand Up to End Poverty" Day organized by the One Campaign) and changes the service each time in accordance to the liturgical season.

The U2charist movement is now international with services in places like New Zealand, South Africa, Atlanta, and Hong Kong.

The BBC will be filming this service as part of a documentary that they're making, but also so that it can be used as a model for a U2charist performance at St. Swithin's Church in London. That performance will bre broadcast nationally in the UK on Good Friday.

Dr. Blair will start this U2charist with "Pride (in the Name of Love)" and end the service with "MLK".

More background on U2's message can be found here and here. The Official U2charist page is here.
For a lot of background on the spritual journey of U2, I recommend the book Walk On by Steve Stockman.

"One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss
In the name of love.
What more in the name of love?"

UPDATE: Correction. As a commenter so kindly pointed out, the first U2charist was not held at St. George's but rather at St. Mary's Outreach Center (SMOC) in Baltimore, Maryland in April of 2004. Sorry about the misinformation.

1 comment:

Sarah Dylan Breuer said...

Great post!

There's one error in it, though: St. George's did NOT hold the first U2charist, as Paige Blair (St. George's rector) has always made clear. The first U2charist was held at St. Mary's Outreach Center (SMOC) in Baltimore, Maryland in April of 2004; St. George's held its first U2charist over a year later, and Paige (a good friend of mine and a very cool person and gifted priest) consulted that first liturgy when she was planning St. George's first U2charist. Please feel free to give me a shout (there's a link to email me from my web page) if you'd like the documentation -- Paige has NEVER said that she or St. George's started the U2charist, and although I'm sure the error was unintentional, it's potentially harmful to her to pass along mistaken stories that suggest otherwise. I greatly appreciate your help in clearling this up!