Let me first, on behalf of the entire diocese, offer our heartiest congratulations to our sisters and brothers as well as to the people of the British Virgin Islands as you celebrate another year of freedom from slavery.

Centuries ago, your ancestors struggled to obtain freedom from slavery, and conversely freedom to worship freely. What seemed impossible to them became possible. We thank God for those brave and fearless souls who lived in hope, hope for a better tomorrow for people of color. That is why we cannot let them down. We can imagine the glorious sounds that must have emanated from their singing, in places that they built or where they worshipped. From Steal Away to Jesus to Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus, we salute all of you for strengthening the bonds of your society in love and continued hope.