The New Baptist Covenant featured our Cville2Jtown Pilgrimage in their August e-newsletter today!
Read the whole article written by Rev. Liz Emrey.
On two sweltering days of August last year, our community in Charlottesville experienced firsthand how the poison of racism can infect, divide and kill us.
The death of Heather Heyer and the injury of dozens more when a white nationalist willfully rammed his automobile into a crowd of anti-racist protesters left us traumatized. And though many of the Neo-Nazis and Alt-Right marchers were strangers to our community, the racial prejudice that fomented those two days of bloody conflict were not a new phenomenon to us.
Our city and county have a long history of racism.
We understand “racism” in America as prejudice sanctioned by institutional power that upholds a white supremacist value system. This racism first decimated the indigenous American Indians and then enslaved people of African and Caribbean descent. As people of faith, we know that we cannot move forward as a healed community without first telling the truth about our past, acknowledging our long history of racism, and turning from it.
We also know that until we have healed these wounds we cannot reconcile or build life-giving relationships that reflect and honor the magnificent diversity of creation. Without reconciliation and repair, we cannot begin to re-envision together what is possible for our country.
It is with this in mind — and with the endorsement of the inter-racial, interfaith, 50-member Charlottesville Clergy Collective — that New Beginnings Christian Community and Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church, brought into covenant relationship by New Baptist Covenant, have come together to plan a pilgrimage from Charlottesville to Jamestown and then to Fort Monroe, the site of the arrival in North America of the first ship carrying enslaved Africans 400 years ago.
Open to anyone who wishes to participate, the pilgrimage, set for Oct. 6-13, will offer opportunities for education, reflection, prayer and community building, as we learn a more complete history of our nation’s founding, hear stories of suffering and discrimination, celebrate strength and resiliency, and begin to knit together communities of hope and justice.
Read the whole article here.
About the New Baptist Covenant:
Saddened by the persistent racial and theological divisions between Baptist communities and in the United States, President Jimmy Carter determined to do what he could to heal the divides. In 2007, President Carter brought together prominent leaders from across the Baptist family. These leaders represented more than 30 Baptist organizations and over 20 million people. He challenged them to explore new opportunities for fellowship and cooperation. From this effort, a ministry of action named the New Baptist Covenant was born, uniting Baptists and renewing our pursuit of unity and justice on the local and national scale.
The New Baptist Covenant creates vibrant, inclusive Baptist communities, building bridges in places previously marked by division. We are called by God to champion the weak and oppressed, honor the diverse workings of the Holy Spirit and to share the love of Christ. Our work is rooted in the words of Jesus Christ found in Luke 4:18-19.
Baptist churches from different racial and ethnic backgrounds form Covenants of Action to build relationships with each other and work together to create positive change in the community beyond their churches.
For more information about the New Baptist Covenant and Covenants of Action, visit their website: