Celebrating Easter at SSAM
17 April 2017 Religion
Celebrating Easter at SsAM, Wilmington DE
Executive Chairman of My-Star Media Network Inc. & Kojak Media
This has been one of the most intriguing Easter Celebrations of my life. I just returned from a very interesting visit to the Festival Choral Eucharist organized by the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrews & Matthew (SsAM) in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Episcopal Church is the United States-based member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is a Christian church divided into nine provinces and has dioceses in the United States, Taiwan, Micronesia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and the Navajoland Area Mission.
SsAM has a unique history. It’s the uncommon tale of two churches that came together. The story is told of how St. Andrew’s, a predominantly white congregation and St. Matthew’s, a predominantly black congregation started by holding Palm Sunday Services together in 1991. A few years later, the leadership of both churches decided to merge and formed the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Mathew, 1993. Since then, Ssam has become known as the church that embraced diversity and opens it s does to people from all walks of life.
“Along with Presbyterians, Episcopalians tend to be considerably wealthier and more educated”
In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 1.2 percent of the adult population in the United States, or 3 million people, self-identify as mainline Episcopalians/Anglicans. Along with Presbyterians, Episcopalians tend to be considerably wealthier and more educated (having more graduate and postgraduate degrees per capita) than most other religious groups in the United States, and are more disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business law, and politics.
The Episcopal Church of Saint Andrews and Matthew, (SSAM) led by its Rector, Rev. David T. Andrews, Jr. is a good example of this description. I was invited to visit the church by my good friend and business partner at My-Star Radio, Nana Sarpongmaa-Soto. As I walked down the flight of stairs to the church office on that fateful day, I couldn’t help but notice how the building at 719 N Shipley Street stood out in a unique way even in the midst of all the tall buildings in Downtown Wilmington.
The Interior was immaculately made up and as I entered, I was struck by just how peaceful it felt inside. I was met by the pleasant Executive Assistant to the Rector, D-L Casson who showed me around and shed more light on the weekend’s activities. On Good Friday, my company was scheduled to cover the Urban Way of the Cross and so I took the opportunity to discuss the details.
The Urban Way of the Cross march is a symbolic portrayal of the last days of Christ. The procession started at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center and stopped at several “stations” including the City Offices, The Courthouse and the Delaware Center for Justice.
“The Urban Way of the Cross march is a symbolic portrayal of the last days of Christ.”
Easter Sunday Service at SsAM, Wilmington, DE
Kofi Jacquaye & Nana Sarpongmaa
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According to Father David, the Rector of SSAM, the Urban Way of the Cross affords them the opportunity to bring attention to pressing social issues that the church is worried about. This year, they choose to stop at these “stations” to bring the city authority’s attention to the pain some of the Federal government’s decision is causing ordinary citizens of Wilmington and to a large extent, the rest of the country. It was a powerful mixture of colorful spiritual performances and music by the choir at each stop and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Overall, my Easter celebration was a beautiful combination of hymns and processions that reminded me of my days as a young boy serving at the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Abossey Okai, Accra-Ghana where my late mother worshiped.
Overall, It was an exciting experience celebrating Easter with the lovely folks at the Episcopal Church of Saint Andrews and Matthew, (SSAM). In all of the time, I was there, you could see the efforts of Father David and his vestry team to include the youth in the church’s activities and to prepare them to take more responsibility as they mature.
Easter has just ended, but make no mistake, I will definitely be going back to the SSAM. This time, to fellowship as a member and to enjoy the sermons, the hymns and the beautiful environment they have there.
About The Author
Kofi Jacquaye is the Executive Chairman of the MSM Network Inc, a company that owns and runs a series of online radio and television Networks in the USA. He started working in the media in 1997 with the Malaysian owned TV3 Network Ghana and has since then worked in various media houses including one of the biggest Radio Networks in West Africa – The Multimedia Group. He currently lives and works in Newark, Delaware.
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