At St. Cyprian’s we are helping people remember Peter and Anna Cassey of California, two pioneers whose prophetic voice and life in acknowledging the dignity of all human beings to be of equal value and importance in the life the community and the church.
In 2009 The Episcopal Diocese of California called a task force for a three-year study of the role of the Diocese in the sin of American Slavery. Their study results were inconclusive about a direct relationship of benefice by the Diocese in the American slave trade; the bishop was an abolitionist who forbade discussion of abolition, secession or the Civil War. One result of this research by the Racial Reconciliation Task force was the discovery, or re discovery of the lives of Peter Williams Cassey, deacon, and his wife Anna Bessant Cassey; abolitionists, civil rights workers, educators, and, in the case of Peter, the first clergy ordained west of the Mississippi in 1866.
St. Cyprian’s held one of the first commemorations of Peter and Anna Cassey and continues to lift this pioneering in this time of turmoil and change. For more on the Casseys please see: