ASH WEDNESDAY FEATURING 75TH GUEST THE REV. JEMONDE TAYLOR
Ash Wednesday 2022
What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the forty days of Lent.
Christians have been preparing for the celebration of Easter by walking through a “Holy Lent” since ancient times. This is patterned after Jesus's temptation in the wilderness.
Lent is a season of repentance, fasting, and self-reflection. Of course, all of this happens with the sure knowledge of God’s love and grace to us through Christ. Lent and Ash Wednesday are in no way about condemnation. They are a time in which human beings, given a pronouncement of forgiveness and absolution through Christ, can be honest with God, with ourselves, and with each other. With the terror of judgment removed, we can speak the truth.
Ash Wednesday is the day in which Christians gather to receive the imposition of ashes.
Ashes also represent mourning, as Tamar in the Old Testament used them to mourn her abuse which was not in any way her fault, but which devastated her.
Ashes are the result of burning. This burning in our lives is from our own sins and follies and from the abuse of others, and ashes represent both. They remind us that we are living in this mortal world, this fallen world, and that we are made from dust, when all else is burned away. We are mortal and will return to our maker.
-Courtesy of anglicancompass.com
More About The Rev. Jemonde Taylor
The Reverend Robert Jemonde Taylor serves as the eleventh rector of Saint Ambrose Episcopal Church, Raleigh, NC since 2012. His ministry at Saint Michael and All Angels as a priest missioner was from 2009 to 2012. He was the first African American clergyperson to serve Saint Michael. Jemonde joined Saint Michael as a Lilly Fellow with the Transition into Ministry (TiM) program for recently ordained seminary graduates as a part of the Dallas Cohort in collaboration with the following Dallas churches: Wilshire Baptist, First Presbyterian, Preston Hollow Presbyterian, and First UMC. Father Taylor’s ministry at Saint Michael was in three areas. He directed the young adult ministry at Saint Michael called 20.30 AMG. Jemonde was chaplain to Jubilee Park and Community Center through pastoral presence, leading worship, and evangelism. He served as chaplain at Saint Philip’s School and Community Center by leading worship and providing pastoral care, including a meditation technique he developed for children combining making Anglican rosaries with centering prayer.
Father Taylor is active in the Diocese of North Carolina and larger Church by serving on the Discipline Board, president of the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, co-chair for the Nominating Committee to elect the XII Bishop Diocesan, consultant and advisor for the Office of Black Ministries, board member and treasurer for the Gathering of Leaders, and board and trustee member of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest. Jemonde is part of a five-person research team that received a $400,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to produce a documentary film on Race, Church and Theological Practices.
Father Taylor is active in the local community as vice chair of Raleigh’s Stormwater Commission, Duke University Cancer Institute Community Advisory Council, PBS North Carolina TV Black Issues Forum Advisor, and steering committee member of ONE Wake community power organization.
Father Taylor holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in robotics and vehicle design from Stanford University. Jemonde worked as an automotive performance and design engineer for Michelin Tire Company in Greenville, SC for three years before entering seminary. Jemonde earned his M.Div. from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City in 2009.
Father Taylor enjoys studying the spirituality and history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Jemonde is married to Kierson Leigh Taylor, and they have two children.