Mark Nam’s Visit to St John’s in Alabama

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Reverend Mark Nam, a Chinese priest in the Church of England and a CARG member, was invited in July to attend a service of workshop and memorial at the St John’s in Alabama. 

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Mark asked by the Union of Black Episcopalians to participate in a ‘Litany of Libation’ in honour of Ancestors, Saints, and Elders who have toiled, fought, and spent their lives seeking justice and equality for black people in America. 

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As each precious name was read out—familiar names like Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, Absalom Jones, Rosa Parks, as well as names of folk the speaker will never know—they poured a libation of water for each and every person. 

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While the cool water was used as a symbol of the continuity of life, to purify and nourish our souls, Mark was also struck by the weight of the jug, the weight of the water, and the weight of the lives—poured out, and still being poured out—in this nation. 

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The significance of being invited to perform this sacred ritual—as someone who is not black—was not lost on Mark, and it will live long in his heart.

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Photo credit: Mark Nam 

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Article published with permission from Mark Nam. 

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