Ugandan praise dancers from St. Mark’s Church, Van Nuys, perform at the 2022 Juneteenth Evensong at St. John’s Cathedral. Photo: Janet Kawamoto

[The Episcopal News] The Diocese of Los Angeles will present its second annual Juneteenth celebration at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 17 at St. John’s Cathedral, Los Angeles, sponsored by the Program Group on Black Ministry and the H. Belfield Hannibal Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians

The Rev. Stacey Forte Dupré, chair of the UBE chapter, will preach at the service. The Adrian Dunn Singers will perform spirituals and gospel music and the Rev. Lester McKenzie, a native of South Africa and rector of St. Mary’s Church, Laguna Beach, will provide African drumming and song.

Other service participants will include Deacons Dominique Piper, Margaret McCauley and Jamesetta Glosson Hammons; Canon Suzanne Edwards Acton, co-chair of the program group; and the Rev. George Okusi.

All are welcome to attend. Suggested dress for attendees is festal white or African patterns. The cathedral is located at 514 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles 90007

Juneteenth, which the U.S. Congress declared a federal holiday in 2021, commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were finally informed that the Emancipation Proclamation – signed two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln – had ended slavery in the Confederate states. Sometimes called “Second Independence Day,” Juneteenth is a symbolic date of freedom for African Americans and a time of reflection, learning, self- assessment, and healing. The Diocese of Los Angeles passed a resolution at its 2021 convention adding Juneteenth to its liturgical calendar as a feast day.