Hello Emory family:
My prayer is that in the midst of multiple pandemics, God is sustaining you even in this moment. I am writing to invite you to two physically-distanced prayer vigils for justice, the dismantling of racism and the transformation of our country tomorrow, Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. and at 6 p.m. We want to bear witness to the love of God that grounds and keeps all of us, and that moves us to demand and usher in justice in the presence of evil.
The first vigil is in partnership with roughly 20 churches and neighborhood groups along the 16th Street corridor in D.C. and in nearby communities. Emory will gather as a part of this collective effort with other congregations and community groups at the corner of 16th Street and Fort Stevens Drive, NW, a few blocks down the hill from the Beacon Center. If this area is full, we will extend ourselves north toward Rittenhouse and Sheridan Streets, NW, on 16th Street.
At 5:30, we will walk from this vigil and lead our own vigil in front of our church building and stretching down both sides of Georgia Avenue, NW as large as our numbers will allow, prayerfully from the Walmart and McDonalds to the south on Peabody Street, NW, up to Sheridan Street, NW near the old Wapa Cafe and Julia's Empanadas. This second vigil will start at 6 p.m.
For both vigils, we need you to wear masks and practice obedient, healthy physical distancing of six feet or more so that we keep others and ourselves safe and healthy. If you have disposal gloves and need them, bring them. Also, be sure bring your own water. In addition, we encourage you to bring signs of protest, demanding our nation end police brutality and dismantled systemic racism. We will, at a point where we feel moved, drop to a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in remembrance of our brother, George Floyd, and all who have lost their lives to police brutality.
If it is NOT safe for you to come, please stay home and pray with us during this time. But we wish to be a community presence of love, care and support with our neighborhood during these painful, challenging and chaotic times -- yet these times when God is drawing us even closer to God's presence.
As we fill the streets with prayer, it is my prayer that we will ask those who pass by, as well as owners of small businesses, two simple questions: 1) How are you? and, 2) How can we pray for you? We are holding these vigils as well as a sign of solidarity with our community, and to develop relationships and begin meeting people's needs as God opens a door.
I hope to see you tomorrow at 5 pm and 6 p.m. Continued blessings to you and your families in this Pentecost season.
Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr., Lead Pastor