As our community continues to heal from the events of August 12, 2017, we look for ways to reclaim that date and celebrate the beauty of inclusivity, diversity and equality that define our community today. On August 12, 2018 you are invited to participate in a group singing event called “The C’ville Sing Out!” The C’ville Sing Out! is organized by members of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Choir. The event begins with a 2:00 rehearsal at Mt. Zion African Baptist Church, 105 Lankford Avenue. At 4:00 the group will gather at the IX Park, 955 2nd Street SE to perform three songs together: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, Glory by John Legend, and Charlottesville by local songwriter Evelyn Carter. Please go click here for more information and to register to participate.
As a continuation of the work Westminster is doing to grapple with racism, here’s a friendly reminder to get and read The Hate U Give before class starts. This book was assigned reading for the Charlottesville City Schools’ 9th graders, and WPC’s Peace, Justice & Inclusion committee and the adult ed committee of the Christian Education Division feel it’s an important book for people of faith to read, from teenagers on up. Ms. Taylor gives multilayered insights into today’s (and, sadly, probably tomorrow’s) headlines dealing with issues of racial justice in our society. Gail Ott passes along this friendly notice: The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library “has tons of copies of the book as well as the sound recording, downloadable audiobook, and downloadable eBooks for free!!”
The Peace, Justice & Inclusion (PJ&I) Committee concludes its series of social justice discussions on Sunday, July 15. Please join us in the Library at 11:30 (after Mickie’s reception) for a panel discussion on gun violence prevention. We’ll have the following panel members help us grapple with this urgent need in our society:
- Rev. David Garth, of WPC, representing the Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention (and freshly returned from the Charlottesville Pilgrimage)
- Capt. Michael Martin, of WPC, Accreditation & Special Programs Manager, Greene County Sheriff’s Office
- Priya Mahadevan, of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Charlottesville chapter.
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy will have a special meeting on Thursday, July 26th from 6:30-8:00 PM at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (1901 Thomson Rd, Charlottesville). This meeting will be specially geared for newcomers and those who have not been with us for a while. During the meeting, we will catch everyone up on our work over the last year and our plans for the future. If you have been thinking about getting involved in our work, this will be a perfect meeting for you to test the water…or jump completely in!
Much of our work has been in laying the groundwork for a living wage certification program for Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Our intention is that this program will bring positive attention to those employers who are paying a living wage, motivate employers who are not paying a living wage to begin doing so, and to bring the public’s attention to the issue of living wage. We hope to begin recruiting employers for certification this fall. Come hear the details about this exciting work! Refreshments will be available. For more information, please contact Kim Crater at 434-296-4764 or .
African American Cultural Arts Festival , Sat., July 28 at Washington Park https://www.facebook.com/events/181204596053729/
Kabbalat Shabbat service at Congregation Beth Israel, Friday evening, August 10.
CBI is planning to hold a special Kabbalat Shabbat service, open to the larger community, and which will focus on the themes of the anniversary of August 11/12 through the lens of prayer and song.
Cville Sing Out, Sunday, August 12, 4pm at the Ix Art Park.
The Cville Sing Out is being organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Choir. All are invited to participate in this event that intends to bring our community together for healing, harmony, and fun. People wishing to sign can practice at 2pm at Mt Zion AME Church, or attend the Sing Out at 4pm at Ix Art Park. More info here.
Immigration news in our community
This has been an intense few weeks since the Central VA Sanctuary Network (which Westminster Presbyterian Church is a member of)has worked in support of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond as the church has brought Abbie Arevalo Herrera into their church for Public Sanctuary.
In Charlottesville, we have a Quaker Friends church and an Episcopal church on the ready to provide Public Sanctuary when needed. When that happens there will be much support that local faith communities can provide.
In the meantime , the Central Virginia Sanctuary Network’s website is now functioning. Please take a look for ways you can support this important work now. centralvasanctuary.com
Please keep in mind as you read the nation’s news headlines that family separations are occurring amongst immigrant families in our own community due to our regional jail board’s disputed policy of voluntarily informing ICE 48 hours before someone is released, after serving their time and paying their fine. The majority are in jail for misdemeanors, including driving without a license, which is another anti-immigrant policy imposed by Virginia’s General Assembly. Find out more about CIRAC, which is also participating with the Central Virginia Sanctuary Network (and also has a new website: CIRAC.weebly.com.
More links that came out of our “Social Justice Sundays” class on 7/8/18:
This Sunday, June 24, Brittany Caine-Conley and Rebecca McGregor will be showing pictures and recounting their very memorable and meaningful mission trip to our southern border, their interactions there with immigrants and those who provide care at the increasingly chaotic border. We will also hear of the cases of 6 trans women who our community is hoping to shelter as their asylum cases make their way through the courts. Next week, July 1, we’ll highlight local efforts to assist our immigrant neighbors close by, with representatives from CIRAC, International Neighbors, and others in our community. On July 8, we’ll be discussing a look ahead to what support people can express to uplift our community in the days surrounding the anniversary of the weekend of August 11-12. And we’ll conclude our discussion series on July 15 with a panel of representatives from gun violence prevention groups. We hope you’ll join us in the Library.