GSL Social Justice Vision Statement
Inspiring our faith community to live out our Baptismal Covenant, “to strive for justice and peace among all people” by practicing self-reflection and direct action.
GSL Social Justice Values
GSL Social Justice Focus Areas
Presence in the Public Square
Educating the Conscience
A Pilgrimage to Montgomery & Selma, Alabama: Exploring Our Country's History of Racial Justice and Equity
April 20-23, 2023.
Space is limited. Register today! Deposit Deadline: February 15. Final Payment Deadline: March 17. Scholarships available based on need. Contact the Rev. Laura F. Gettys for details (email, 901-252-6329). Pilgrimage price including chartered motorcoach transportation from Memphis is $800 (pricing is based on a minimum 20 pilgrims).
Day 1: Thursday, April 20 – Memphis – Montgomery
In the early afternoon, gather at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Memphis, TN to board a motorcoach and begin your pilgrimage. The first stage of your journey will be the drive to Montgomery, AL (approx. 5.5 hours). Upon arrival, check into a downtown area hotel and enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant and begin conversation about why we are here. Return to your hotel to continue the conversation. Before bedtime, we will gather for Compline.
Day 2: Friday, April 21 – Montgomery
After breakfast at your hotel, visit the new Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. Located on the site of a former warehouse where Black people were forced to labor in Montgomery, Alabama, this narrative museum uses interactive media, sculpture, videography, and exhibits to immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of the slave trade, racial terrorism, the Jim Crow South, and the world’s largest prison system. Following your visit, there will be a group lunch at Pannie Georges, located inside the Legacy Museum and known for its authentic Afro-Caribbean cuisine. In the afternoon, your motorcoach will take you on a panoramic tour of downtown Montgomery, passing sites including St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Freedom Rides Museum, the Rosa Parks Museum, the 1st White House of the Confederacy, Dexter Ave., and King Memorial Baptist Church. After returning to your hotel, you’ll have the option to stay behind and spend some time resting, or board the coach for a “hop-on/hop-off” tour of the sites you passed on the panoramic tour. You can walk between many of these sites and back to your hotel, or wait for the coach to come back around later in the day. Enjoy a group meal and discussion about the day’s event. Return to the hotel for more discussion and a service of Compline. Overnight in Montgomery
Day 3: Saturday, April 22 – Montgomery
Following breakfast at your hotel, travel to the Peace and Justice Memorial Center (part of the Memorial to Peace and Justice Park and Pavilion complex designed for The Equal Justice Initiative – EJI). For the remainder of the morning, stroll through the National Memorial and Museum for Peace and Justice. On a six-acre site atop a rise overlooking Montgomery, the national lynching memorial is a sacred space for truth-telling and reflection about racial terror in America and its legacy. Return to the hotel for lunch, on your own, and enjoy some free time visit some of the sites you may have missed or join an optional excursion to the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site. The site houses a museum and the remains of the training facility used by these courageous pilots and their crew, along with the National Memorial Site. After returning to Montgomery, enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant and time for discussion on the experiences of the day. Return to the hotel for continued discussion and Compline. Overnight in Montgomery.
Day 4: Sunday, April 23 – Montgomery – Selma – Memphis
After breakfast, meet together at your hotel or travel to Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd to share a service of Holy Eucharist. Check out of your hotel and board your motorcoach for Selma. Next, walk the short distance to the Edmund Pettus Bridge and cross its span like many have done before you, remembering the injustice and civil rights struggles of our past. Time permitting, visit the National Voting Rights Museum. Board your coach and start your journey back to Memphis, stopping, en-route, for lunch (on your own). The time on your coach driving back to Memphis can be used for small group discussion and reflection on your shared experiences on pilgrimage. Arrive in Memphis in the late afternoon.
Participants learned about the great plans for the April 20-23, 2023 motorcoach pilgrimage hosted by GSL Church to explore the faithful, historic, extraordinary, and meaningful work of Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). In addition to casual fellowship with others, the three-day journey will include visits to the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Edmund Pettus Bridge, a panoramic tour of both cities and the region, and time for worship and reflection.
We welcome you to join our conversation and become a part of Social Justice at GSL! If you have questions or thoughts around Sunday formation ideas or ways we can be active in the community, we want to hear from you. If you wonder about how our liturgy might reflect our work, we want to hear from you. If you want to go more deeply in striving to become the Beloved Community, we want to hear from you. We welcome your participation, ideas, resource suggestions, and prayers.
Social Justice Committee Chairs — Contact through Realm.
Clergy Liason —
Click here for all Social Justice upcoming events and meetings.
Grace-St. Luke's has been offering the Sacred Ground series, part of The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community initiative committed to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice. Grounded in our call to faith, hope, and love, Sacred Ground is specifically designed to help educate white people through conversation as we peel back each layer and consider the origins and causes of present-day divisions and challenges.
This video was created for the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee by Mr. Shango Cooke:
Email: scooke (at) actionaudiovideo.com
Sacred Ground Racial Reconciliation Program (2021) from The Diocese of West Tennessee on Vimeo.