Celebration of slave guide Harriet Tubman Sunday

THE BALTIMORE SUN

An official proposal to add Harriet Ross Tubman to the Calendar of Saints of the Episcopal Church will be celebrated Sunday with a public worship service in Dorchester County, where the slave and humanitarian was born in 1820.

As a "conductor on the Underground Railroad," she was known as "the Moses of her people," leading more than 300 slaves to freedom before the Civil War.

During the war, she was a Union scout, spy and nurse. Later, she settled in Auburn, N.Y., where she died in 1913.

At last summer's General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Harriet Tubman was nominated formally for commemoration as a saint July 20, with three other women of historical prominence -- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer and Sojourner Truth.

Final action on the nominations is expected at the 1997 convention.

The observance honoring Tubman in the Episcopal Diocese of Easton was transferred to Feb. 19 so that it could be part of Black History Month on the Eastern Shore.

The public is invited to the festive service of Evensong at 4 p.m. Sunday in historic Christ Episcopal Church, also known as Great Choptank Parish, at High and Church streets in Cambridge. The Rev. Michael B. Curry, rector of West Baltimore's St. James Episcopal Church, will preach.

Music will be provided by the choirs of Christ Church and Refuge Temple Church of God. Episcopal Bishop Martin G. Townsend of Easton will preside.

Also scheduled to take part in Sunday's observance are the Rev. Linda Wheatley, executive director of the Harriet Tubman Coalition in Cambridge; George Ames, president of the Dorchester County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and the Rev. Leon Hall, president of the board of the Fassett-Magee Health Center, due to open in Cambridge this year.

The offering from Sunday's service will benefit the health center project.

"To be added to our Calendar of Saints is one of the highest honors our church can bestow on any individual," said the Rev. Nathaniel W. Pierce, rector of Great Choptank Parish. "Harriet Tubman often said that she only did what the Lord told her to do and her life bears witness to a spiritual depth rarely found in any person."

Tubman was born about six miles southeast of Cambridge.

The first church on the Great Choptank Parish site was built in 1693. After a second building dating from 1794 burned, the present church, noted for its stained glass, was erected in 1893.

& Information: 228-3161.

Interfaith commentary

A panel of Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy will take part in a symposium exploring the meaning and significance of a major theological document by Pope John Paul II at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 27 at St. Mary's Seminary and University, 5400 Roland Ave.

The subject of the free, public program is "Veritatis Splendor" -- "The Splendor of Truth" -- which is the 10th encyclical of John Paul's papacy. In it, the pope discusses freedom, conscience, natural law, sin and principles of moral theology that he says "are being undermined by certain present-day tendencies."

Participating with Cardinal William H. Keeler will be Rabbi Jack Bemporad of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.; the Rev. Augustine Di Noia, director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Dr. L. Gregory Jones, a United Methodist on the theology faculty of Loyola College.

The Rev. Philip S. Keane, vice president of St. Mary's and a professor of moral theology there, will be moderator.

Information: 323-3200, Ext. 135.

Jewish retreat

A weekend retreat for college students sponsored by Jewish College Services and Jewish Family Services is planned for Feb. 24 to 26 at the Carousel Hotel in Ocean City.

D8 For information, including fees: 542-4900, Ext. 276.

Meditation

A free seminar on "the awakening of the soul and experiencing inner peace through meditation" is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Golden Temple Book Store, 2322 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

& Information: 235-1014.

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