On January 16, 2022 at 5:30 pm, Epiphany will celebrate the life of Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu. This is a worthy celebration because of who he was, what he did, and what he taught. It is an appropriate memorial made more poignant in that it is celebrated on the weekend we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Archbishop Tutu, as providence ordains, was himself the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. award for Non-Violence in 1986. Both Archbishop Tutu and Dr. King lived their lives as true God-bearers, true followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like you and me, like Archbishop Tutu and Dr. King, we are not perfect as followers of Jesus. Even still, Christ is our light, our direction, our aspiration, and our inspiration. In the case of Dr. King and Archbishop Tutu, they were that light brightly lived out.
But the celebration of the life of Archbishop Tutu also meets us close to home, here at Epiphany. Dr. Judith (Judy) Mayotte, a parishioner at Epiphany, was a dear friend of the Archbishop and his family. She served on The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation board and, while living in Cape Town, taught at The University of the Western Cape, where the Archbishop had long served as its Chancellor. On Fridays, Judy was among a group who attended Eucharist, celebrated by the Archbishop, in the chapel of Saint George’s Cathedral in Cape Town followed by breakfast together at a coffee shop in Saint George’s Mall. They remained close friends.
And so, Judy helped Diane Carlisle and Zachary Hemenway craft a lovely service that includes some of the Archbishop’s favorite hymns, readings from his books and lectures, and anthems from South Africa. The service structure is very similar to our Lessons and Carols service with Eucharist at the end.
This worship service is designed for you to invite friends who might have been inspired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to join us.
I hope you do so.