Good Friday Pilgrimage April 2 in Downtown

by 24USATVApril 2, 2021, 4 a.m. 28
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The 6th Annual Good Friday Pilgrimage in Richmond will be held Friday, April 2, it has been announced.

The 13-member Clergy Against Racism once again will host the walk through Downtown, with stops in the former Navy Hill area, at the VCU Health Center, the state Capitol and Hood Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Jackson Ward.

The pilgrimage is to begin and end at Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church, 614 N. 3rd St., the announcement stated.

The purpose: To walk together with a commitment to dismantling systems of inequity and fostering a more just, compassionate and inclusive community, according to statement from the organization.

The walk also seeks to remember the walk of Jesus to his crucifixion and lament both Richmond’s unhealed history of systematic racism and the crises of 2020, including the Minneapolis Police murder of George Floyd and the pandemic, the statement noted.

The event also is to include a virtual town hall discussion at 5 p.m. via Zoom concerning the role people can play to create a more equitable community.

Registration is required to participate in the walk or the town hall. To register, go to t.ly/ZMQB or the website of Second Presbyterian Church, www.2presrichmond.org.

Details: The Rev. Alex W. Evans, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, (804) 649-9148, or the Rev. Reuben J. Boyd Jr., pastor of Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church, (336) 687-5104.

The pilgrimage started as a big group walk in 2015. Because of the pandemic, the clergy group will conduct four walks with smaller groups to maintain social distancing. The walks will take place at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. and at noon, the release stated.

The initial pilgrimage began in response to the 2015 massacre of nine Black people by a white supremacist at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. The release stated that the annual program has become a way to “raise awareness, build bridges and deepen bonds within Richmond’s faith community on the road to dismantling racism.”

Along with Revs. Boyd and Evans, the members of Clergy Against Racism include: Bishop Larry Branch, senior pastor of Love Center of Unity Full Gospel Church International; the Rev. Rebecca Branch-Griffin, pastor of Hood Temple A.M.E. Zion Church; the Rev. Roger J. Gench, theologian-in-residence at Second Presbyterian; the Rev. Gwen C. Hedgepeth, associate minister at First Union Baptist Church; and the Rev. Gary D. Jones, rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

Also, Rabbi Michael Knopf of Temple Beth-El; the Rev. Brent A. Melton, former rector of All Saints Episcopal Church; the Rev. David A. Whitten, pastor of West Richmond Church of the Brethren; the Rev. Drew Willson, pastor of Boulevard United Methodist Church; the Rev. Melvin F. Shearin II, pastor of Great Hope Baptist Church; and the Rev. Kathryn L. Pocalyko, pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour.

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