Today, if it were not The Feast of the Ascension, we in the Episcopal Church, would be remembering Frances Perkins, the first woman cabinet member (under F.D.Roosevelt). As Secretary of Labor, Frances was responsible for much of the social programs of the New Deal.
Frances was a summer member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Newcastle,where I am attending while waiting for my next interim. I'm enjoying singing in the choir and this coming Sunday there will be a lecture at 2 pm on her life called "Frances Perkins, heart and soul of the New Deal" by Donn Mitchell and Evening Prayer at 4 pm celebrated by our bishop, Stephen Lane. The choir will be singing and there will be a quartet of fine voices as well.
At last General Convention, Frances was included in Holy Women, Holy Men, the revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts. For more information on both Frances and the commemoration go to St. Andrew's website.
Loving God, we bless your Name for Frances Perkins, who lived out her belief that the special vocation of the laity is to conduct the secular affairs of society that all may be maintained in health and decency. Help us, following her example, to contend for justice and for the protection of all in need, that we may be faithful followers of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.