On Sunday, April 30th, Rev. Tracy joined her university ministry colleague Rev. Deborah Lewis of the Wesley Foundation in taking a groups of students to Fluvanna Women’s Prison to lead worship and meet with some of the women incarcerated there. The students prepared songs and prayers and Tracy preached during their regular Sunday evening worship. Fluvanna Women’s Prison has had several different chaplains over the last year and the transition presents new opportunities to visit women and lead discussion groups and bible studies. The visit was profound for the students and uplifting for the women. We give thanks for this wonderful opportunity!
Westminster was the host site for the event serving as the gathering point as well as the primary location for the accumulation of trash bags, etc. We also provided parking for those who needed it, bathroom access, the registration table and a water/refreshment station for the volunteer workers (the UVA Club set up a “water bar” – connected to the church water supply – that filtered and chilled the water so the group did not use disposable water bottles). This provided 17 liters of fresh water during the event.
The trash pickup area ran in the Buckingham Branch Railroad right-of-way from the Culbreth Road Garage to 15thStreet, N.W. – a distance of 1175 feet.
Using 30-gallon collection bags (lawn and leaf bag size), 35 bags of recyclables were collected as well as 23 more bags of debris considered to be non-recyclable. Also, we retrieved a car tire, a chest of drawers, a wall-unit bookcase, a washing machine agitator and a couple of chairs. We were not able to remove three large carpets that were too heavy (but somehow managed to get thrown over the fence from Chancellor St.!) We will make arrangements to have them cut up and removed one day soon.
In all, forty-three people participated – a lot of UVA students but including a number of Westminster members – Nadine Roddy and Jim Brinkerhoff staffed the registration table; James Burch, Dick Redding, Dana Eastman, Peter Gates and Mike Balister joined me and Tom Mullen in picking up trash along the railroad tracks.
I had an opportunity to welcome the group and tout our church’s Green Team. I felt that many of the student volunteers were surprised to learn that our congregation and their Environmental Club had so much in common.
Tuesday, May 16, 7pm Westminster Library
Frontera de Cristo is a Presbyterian border ministry located in the sister cities of Agua Prieta, Sonora and Douglas, Arizona. Through immersive border experiences, delegations engage the complexity and interlocking forces affecting people from corporate interests and international trade agreements, violence and drug trafficking, fear and racism as well as faith, activism, art and communitites committed to justice and resilience. Join us for this special opportunity to hear from the director of Frontera de Cristo, Mark Adams, as well as Miriam Modano Escobar, founder of a women’s coop and permaculture community in Agua Prieta. They will share about some of the current happenings on the border as well as how you can be involved, here from Charlottesvillle, or by joining a border delegation.
Westminster Presbyterian Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church joined together for a delegation of university students i nthe spring of 2016. Westminster plans to send delegations again in 2018.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its more than 50 recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, EAD’s goal is to strengthen Christians’ voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.
This year close to 1,000 Christians came to participate in the EAD conference, which is organized around the theme, “Confronting Chaos, Forging Community: Challenging Racism, Materialism and Militarism.”
I was honored to lead music and write liturgy for the event and I pulled heavily from MLK’s speech, “Beyond Vietnam,” from which this year’s theme had come (this is the 50th anniversary of the famous speech).
As most of the conference was live streamed, I wanted to share a few highlights with you.
Lobby Day included visits to legislators of all 50 states and a direct action on the senate floor in which 7 faith leaders were arrested for praying for the budget process. Read more and see pics HERE.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!