Sacred Ground Pilgrimage: Day 2 Digest

Our pilgrims in Alabama are finally all in Alabama! Travel delays, re-bookings, errant luggage and other hiccups meant that we still haven’t all been together in the same time and place. The most delayed of our pilgrims weren’t able to arrive in Montgomery at our hotel until almost midnight last night! This meant that we missed our on-site learning opportunities at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, but we’re glad to still have the opportunities to engage with the online learning options we shared yesterday. Today, we continue on as planned. Thank you for joining the pilgrimage in prayer and in interactive learning opportunities. We hope you’ll also tune in to our social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube – to keep up with the experiences in Alabama as they happen. 

Each day, we’ll post a daily overview of the learning experiences for the day and, whenever possible, ways for you to engage in those experiences from afar. If you have any questions or would like to share your own reactions to the learning experiences, please reach out to Rachel, our Communications Director via email or by calling or texting 315-741-1100.

If you’d like to see other days’ overviews and learn more about our commitment to racial justice and healing, please visit this page. 

Our journey today begins with Eucharist at the Church of the Ascension in Montgomery. 

Tune in on Facebook around 9:45 a.m. EST to worship with us.

Be present, be present, O Jesus, our great High Priest, as you were present with your disciples, and be known to us in the breaking of bread; who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

From there, we’ll travel to the Rev. Jonathan Daniels Memorial Site in Hayneville. 

About Jonathan Daniels

Jonathan Daniels was an Episcopal priest who lived a life focused on securing justice and dignity for all humans. He is most remembered for the sacrificial and heroic way he died. 

“In August 1965 Daniels and 22 others were arrested for participating in a voter rights demonstration in Fort Deposit, Alabama, and transferred to the county jail in nearby Hayneville. Shortly after being released on August 20, Richard Morrisroe, a Catholic priest, and Daniels accompanied two black teenagers, Joyce Bailey and Ruby Sales, to a Hayneville store to buy a soda. They were met on the steps by Tom Coleman, a construction worker, and part-time deputy sheriff, who was carrying a shotgun. Coleman aimed his gun at sixteen year old Ruby Sales; Daniels pushed her to the ground in order to protect her, saving her life. The shotgun blast killed Daniels instantly; Morrisroe was seriously wounded. When he heard of the tragedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “One of the most heroic Christian deeds of which I have heard in my entire ministry was performed by Jonathan Daniels.” (Source)

Praying Together as Pilgrims 

O God of justice and compassion, you put down the proud and mighty from their place, and lift up the poor and the afflicted: We give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Learning Together as Pilgrims

From there, we’ll travel to Selma. 

About Selma

“Selma, Alabama, captured the attention of the entire nation and became the center of a decisive shift in the American conscience. The nexus of the voting rights campaign of the 1960s, Selma was the starting point for three marches in support of African-Americans’ right to vote. These marches were crucial to the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act prohibited racial discrimination in voting, protecting the right to vote for racial minorities in the U.S. and especially in the American South.” (Source)

Praying Together as Pilgrims

Please join us in this prayer for Selma from Jerria Martin, a minister and civic leader in Selma:

“I pray that one day every citizen will realize [their]  full potential and stand strong against every obstacle saying, ‘Together, WE can!’  I pray that one day, right here in Selma, that every hill of hatred and every mountain of division will be leveled off into beautiful plains of love and unity…  I pray for the peace of Christ to fall like rushing water and God’s mercy like a mighty stream.  I pray that the misguided youth and young adults will lay down their guns and pick up their Bibles, as they are led, nurtured and loved by a Christian community.  I pray that the spiritual leaders may come together as willing vessels of God and speed up the day where all Selma’s citizens… can join hands saying, ‘Selma will rise again. Yes, she will rise, because we are going to lift her up.’  We will lift her up until every citizen has an opportunity for a full-time adequately paying job and an opportunity to provide for their families.  We will lift her up until the crime and violence ceases and unconditional love commences.  We will lift her up until every citizen realizes that there is hope for our city and it is found in God and in each and every one of us.  There is empowering, life-giving, and everlasting hope in prayer.” We pray in this hope, in the love of the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus Christ our savior. Amen. 

Learning Together as Pilgrims
  • Explore Selma – the US Civil Rights Trail offers a rich and interactive site to learn more about Selma and the role the city and its people have played and have continued to play in the struggle for justice and dignity for all people. 

We’ll return to Montgomery to learn at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery on the campus of Troy University.

About Rosa Parks 

“Rosa Louise Parks was nationally recognized as the “mother of the modern day civil rights movement” in America. Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white male passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, December 1, 1955, triggered a wave of protest December 5, 1955 that reverberated throughout the United States. Her quiet courageous act changed America, its view of black people and redirected the course of history.” (Source)

Praying Together as Pilgrims

God who with us hears and sees, mourns and rejoices: We thank you for your servant Rosa Parks who, through her courage to stay firm in her conviction of and knowledge of the truth of her dignity and holiness as an image-bearer of you, changed the momentum of the civil rights movement. We thank you for her courage. We thank you for her life that was deeply rooted in worship of and prayer to you. Guide us, Lord, to learn from and emulate her example, refusing to be moved backwards or aside in the work of justice. Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Learning Together as Pilgrims
  • About Rosa L. Parks  – Read Mrs. Parks’s official biography from 
  • What if I don’t move to the back of the bus? – Framing Rosa Parks’s act of faithful defiance as an innovation that changed the course of history, this online exhibit from The Henry Ford Museum offers rich context about Mrs. Parks and the civil rights movement. 
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks – Some people have mistakenly referred to Rosa Parks as an “accidental activist;” this name is a disservice to Mrs. Parks who had a lifelong commitment to justice and civil rights. This documentary available to Peacock subscribers tells her story with archival footage and her own words, showing her life to be one of dedication to activism and healing the world. 

We’ll end the day with Compline. 

Tune in on Facebook around 8:30 p.m. EST to pray with us. 

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

 Reflecting Together as Pilgrims

Take some time to reflect and pray about the experiences from this Pilgrimage Day 2. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some wondering prompts that can help you to get started: 

  • I wonder what surprised me the most about today’s experiences. 
  • I wonder where I saw God at work in the stories and experiences today. 
  • I wonder what part of the stories I heard today will stay with me. 
  • I wonder where I am in these stories I heard today. 
  • I wonder where I and these stories are in the big story of the people of God. 
  • I wonder what’s next in this big story of the people of God.  

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