THE SAINT AUGUSTINE’S CHAPEL WORSHIP COMMUNITY
In the spirit of the church tradition of painting our doors red, Saint Augustine’s Chapel strives to be a welcoming and safe place for our students and the community. Services of Holy Eucharist are held on Sundays during the academic year, where we hear the Word of God and partake of the sacraments. We invite you to visit our chapel during worship times and open yourself to the possibilities of a spiritual journey anchored in a relationship with Jesus Christ and nourished by Christian community. We have a relaxed service infused with the participation of students with a diversity of talents ranging from our Divine Dance Worship to our University Choir.
As an Episcopal Chapel, we recognize that students bring the gifts of a diversity of beliefs, experiences and talents, and we treasure this diversity. We strive to be an inclusive and welcoming community, embracing a diversity of cultures and united through the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. The university chapel program and religious life at Saint Augustine’s University is a place to study, pray, and worship together, deepening our faith so that we may be transforming agents sent forth to serve God in the world.
Why the Red Door?
“In the earlier days of the church it was understood that a soldier could not pursue an enemy that had entered through the red doors of a church. The red doors were a symbol of refuge and sanctuary for all people who entered. To all concerned the red on the doors signified the blood of Christ that had been shed so that all who came to him could be saved. Anyone who passed through those doors was safe as long as they stayed behind them. Over time, Christian people began to see the red doors of the church as symbolizing not only physical refuge and safety, but spiritual refuge as well.
The blood of Jesus, and of the Church’s martyrs, that the red doors of the church symbolized, would protect you from evil, both physical and spiritual. The red doors spoke to the world of holy ground that existed inside those doors, space that had been purged and made clean by God’s Holy Spirit. Today people choose to paint their church doors red for many of the same reasons that churches did centuries ago.”
MESSAGE FROM THE DEACON
Deacon Sallie Simpson will continue to be available to the Saint Augustine’s University “family” during our physical separation. Anyone can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will check that mailbox twice a day during this time and respond by phone or email as appropriate.
UPCOMING CHAPEL EVENTS
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Lenten Speakers Series
“Heaven is a Revelation that can happen on Earth”
February 21, 2021
Minister Candace Simpson
Associate at Concord Baptist Church of Christ, Brooklyn New York
Candace is a sister, educator and preacher. She went to Trinity College and Union Theological Seminary.
When she was still in high school, Deacon Zelma Faulk pushed Ms. Candace to be the substitute teacher one Saturday at the Concord Children’s Ministry. She served as site coordinator for the Concord Freedom School for several years, a literacy-based social justice education program for children in Bedford-Stuyvesant. It is her joy to design immersive participatory experiences where people can “be responsible for their own learning.”
Most recently, Minister Simpson served on a team of Faith and Justice Educators at a faith-based non-profit. She now consults full-time with communities who want to build more loving and equitable spaces.
February 28, 2021
Dr. Sandra Montes
Dean of the Chapel, Union Theological Seminary in New York City
Born in Perú, Sandra grew up in Guatemala and settled in Texas as soon as she could. Her passions are God, family (especially her son), music, education, and writing. She has been developing original bilingual resources for her church, school, and others for years. Sandra has been volunteering and working in the Episcopal Church since she was welcomed into Her in 1986. She serves as musician, translator, speaker, consultant, and writer. She is a full-time teacher and doctoral student.
March 7, 2021
Rev. Paul Anthony Daniels, II
Assisting Clergy, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, NY
The Rev. Paul Anthony Daniels is Assisting Clergy at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and a 2nd PhD student in systematic theology at Fordham University, in New York City. His research is lives at the intersections of Black Theology, Christian mysticism, Black critical philosophy, and queer studies. He is from Raleigh, North Carolina, and was reared in St. Ambrose Episcopal Church in Southeast Raleigh.
March 21, 2021
Rev. Rob Stephens
National Political Director, Repairers of the Breach, Raleigh, NC
Rob served for three years as a Field Secretary for the North Carolina NAACP, and was one of the organizers of North Carolina’s Forward Together-Moral Monday Movement. He has also participated in organizing for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Rob serves on the Advisory Board for the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History in Chapel Hill, NC, an organization he co-founded in 2008 that focuses on combating gentrification through oral history, community organizing and housing justice. Rob is ordained by the Reformed Association of the United Church of Christ. Rob is married to the Rev. Hershey Mallette Stephens, an Episcopal priest serving as Dean of the Chapel at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
March 28, 2021
Pastor Charles Brooks
Senior Pastor, Poplar Springs Christian Church
In September of 1979 he answered the call and preached his initial sermon under then Pastor D.A. Peace, Sr. While in college, Charles was called to serve as Pastor of the Pleasant Union United Church of Christ in Raleigh. After serving the church for three years Charles graduated from Saint Augustine’s College with a B.A. degree in History and Government in 1982. He entered The School of Theology at Virginia Union University where he earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 1987.
Upon graduation he returned to North Carolina to serve as Pastor of the Children’s Chapel United Church of Christ until July of 1990. In 1990 Charles accepted the challenge to lead a great congregation in Raleigh, the Poplar Springs United Church of Christ.
FAQs ABOUT THE CHAPEL & THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
How did the Saint Augustine’s Chapel begin?
A worshiping congregation was formed at Saint Augustine’s Normal School on February 11, 1868. The congregants met on the school’s campus until a building was erected on Dawson and Lane streets in Raleigh, NC. The North Carolina Legislature granted the land at this location for the building of a worship space. Ten members from Christ Church, Raleigh transferred to the new church. Other members included students and faculty who attended the new worship community.
Washington Hayes and the Reverend Henry B. Delany, later Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of NC, began construction on the current chapel on the property of Saint Augustine’s Normal School. The Rev. Delany was the quarry master and masonry instructor at that time. Under his direction, the students quarried the stones for construction, and laid the cornerstone in 1895. The construction was completed in December 1895. A year later, the church located in downtown Raleigh was renamed the Church of Saint Ambrose upon recommendation by Bishop Cheshire and permission of the Diocesan Convention. Finally on October 11, 1897, the chapel was consecrated “The Saint Augustine’s Chapel” by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.
When did the Episcopal Church Begin?
The Episcopal Church is a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.When England established colonies in America, Anglican worship was established in the British colonies.Following the Revolutionary War, and the establishment of the United States of America, “three clergy and twenty-four lay delegates met at Chesterton Maryland on November 9, 1780 and resolved that ‘the Church formerly known in the Province as the Church of England should now be called the Protestant Episcopal Church.’ The word ‘Protestant noted that this was a church in the reformation tradition, and the world ‘Episcopal’ noted a characteristic of catholicity,” namely being under the pastoral leadership of bishops.
What makes us Anglican?
The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion. The word communion means having fellowship, affection, and togetherness with another. We share in relationship with other provinces of the Anglican Church from around the world. There are several attributes which we share with Christians in the Anglican Church that mark us as Anglican.
- We are Protestant, yet Catholic: As an Anglican church The Episcopal Church “stand squarely in the Reformed tradition, yet considers itself just as directly descended from the Early Church as the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches.”
- Like all Anglican Churches, the Episcopal Church believes that Christians should be able to worship God and read the Bible in their first language.
- The Episcopal Church uses the Book of Common Prayer for Worship. This book is a “collection of worship services that all worshipers in an Anglican church follow.It is called common prayer because we all pray it together, around the world. The first Book of Common Prayer was compiled in English by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th Century.”
- Faith informed by Scripture, Tradition, and Reason: The Anglican tradition acknowledges that the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God and “completely sufficient to our reconciliation to God, and must always speak to us in our own time and place.”As Anglicans we look to two thousand years of tradition which can inform our understanding of scripture. These traditions of the Church connect us with all generations of believers as we seek to interpret scripture. We are also created by God with intelligence and particular experiences which form our God given reason. We use this reason along with the traditions of the church to discern how scripture relates to our own lives….
Why does SAU have Saint Augustine’s Chapel as a place of worship for students?
Saint Augustine’s University is an institution of importance for The Episcopal Church, and is committed to the spiritual growth and formation of students.The chapel serves as a place of worship on Sunday mornings, and the chapel office coordinates campus religious life. Additionally, Saint Augustine’s University is affiliated with two associations which connect the university to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.These organizations are the Association of Episcopal Colleges (AEC), and Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC). Click here for more information on CUAC.
What do I need to do to be a baptized Christian?
We welcome individuals who seek baptism. As a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ, baptism initiates individuals into Christ’s Body by water and the Holy Spirit. Baptism occurs during a service of Holy Eucharist at various times of the year. The Episcopal Church baptizes people of all ages, and at Saint Augustine’s Chapel we have provisions for baptism by immersion or by pouring water upon the candidate. If you desire to be baptized, contact the university chaplain, The Reverend Nita C. Johnson Byrd at 919.516.4241 or by email through this website to attend a baptism information and preparation session.
Who in The Episcopal Church has spiritual formation resources for individuals?
There are numerous resources for spiritual formation. Students at Saint Augustine’s University should investigate the religious life programs in the following ways. There are excellent online resources by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. You can sign up to receive a daily reflection by email, read sermons, and learn about prayer. You may also view the Daily Office at Forward Movement’s online service, or The Chapel. These are simply a few of the online resources for spiritual formation. Please consult the university chaplain, The Reverend Nita C. Johnson Byrd for more information.
How can I learn about the history of African Americans in the Episcopal Church?
Visit the Episcopal Church website entitled “The Church Awakens: African Americans and the Struggle for Justice.”Visit this website to hear interviews with theologians such as Dr. James Cone and the first African American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest the Rev. Pauli Murray on topics of race and Christianity.