We are called to be ministers of peace and reconciliation. In order to fully understand the ties that bind us to oppression and injustice, a group of clergy and laity joined Bishop Hope Morgan Ward in January for a Freedom Ride. Participants journeyed from Durham to New Bern to Littleton to Warrenton, hearing stories of the history of North Carolina. The stories this group heard were both heartbreaking and inspiring.
Another Freedom Ride will launch on March 15, for clergy and laity to partner with the School for Conversion, a Durham-based nonprofit. Participants will engage in a four-day pilgrimage of learning, praying, and dreaming together in the spirit of the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. The pilgrimage will leave Durham, travel to Nashville, TN and back, engaging with those who were a part of the freedom movement – veterans of the Civil Rights movement.
Kevin Baker, a clergy who participated in the January event, shares, “My recent freedom ride was an eye-opening and heart-rending experience. What is needed in this moment in history is a renewed willingness to face with honesty, patience, and love the racial wounds we have inherited in our churches and our local communities. It is not a comfortable journey that lies before us, but it is a necessary one – especially for those of us who desire to follow Rabbi Jesus. I am convinced that it is only when we enter these local places of pain and brokenness with new eyes and ears that we will be empowered to move forward with renewed commitment towards the beloved community we all hope for and desire.”
In journeys such as this, we continue to learn, to grow, and to become more and more committed to Christ’s ministry of reconciliation. Let us all endeavor to reach across lines that divide us as Christ draws us all into one family, deeply loved by God.
Thanks to Kyle Burrows for sharing the photos.