We crossed boundaries of old that marked slavery or freedom, liberation or oppression. Living together in pilgrimage, we visited Anniston, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma in Alabama. Then we spent a few days traveling through the small delta communities of Mississippi, ending in Memphis, Tennessee.
Hearing the stories of the saints that were there during the Civil Rights movement forced all of us to notice injustices that are happening in our own time and our own communities. It soon became apparent that remaining stagnant and refusing to act wasn't an option. Be on the lookout for how our youth will lead us as prophets for racial equity in our church.
I would like to express my deep thankfulness for Mark and Leslie Swiggum; the hours they spent preparing for the pilgrimage were countless. When you see them around, please remind them of our gratitude as an entire church. Kelly Rowley was an adult leader on the trip as well. I cannot overstate how thankful I am for her commitment to the lives of our young people. Kelly isn't afraid of being vulnerable...she was an example to our youth of what it means to strive for justice as sinners and saints! To hear more stories from our Pilgrimage, visit our blog which continues to evolve even after we've gotten home.
- JD Mechelke, ECLC High School Youth Minister