Seminary Announcements

Watch Night 2020: Praying in the Gap

Watch Night 2020: Praying in the Gap

by Tammye Jurena -
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A collaboration between Tulsa Area Black Churches and the Black Church Traditions & African American Faith-Life program at Phillips Theological Seminary.

The event will be available on the Phillips Seminary YouTube channel.  It will air at 10:30pm, Dec 31st, 2020.

In the throes of the Civil War, enslaved Africans in America gathered for prayer and worship on Dec 31st, 1862, watching midnight bring forth January 1st.  The day marked a new year, a realized hope, and a new status as Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation proclaimed all enslaved persons in Confederate held territories free.  Despite the horrors of slavery, watch-night worship service symbolized and ritualized a bridge between Black Americans’ past and ongoing becoming.  Signaling the possibility of the implausible, watch-night services have continued to be a rich part of many Black Churches in the United States.  In a similarly symbolic moment, the Black Church Traditions and African American Faith-Life (BCTAF) program at Phillips Theological Seminary is collaborating with Tulsa area Black Churches to host a virtual watch-night service: WatchNight 2020: Praying in the Gap.   In response to trials and instability of 2020 and in recognition of Black Church Traditions, the BCTAF program at Phillips with its partner congregations come together in prayer, song, and worship as we welcome in the New Year.