For several years members of the West Side Moravian congregation have sought to do justice as they work toward God’s justice in their church and community. Through workshops, book discussions, events, and activism, they are committed to acknowledging and understanding the sin of racism and taking steps toward equity healing.
In 2022 West Side received a $2,000 grant from MMFA’s Racial Awareness, Equity and Reconciliation Fund to offset costs for a congregational mission trip for racial justice and understanding.
In June 2023 six adults, one youth and two children journeyed from Memphis, TN, to Montgomery to Selma, AL, visiting places such as:
- The National Civil Rights Museum
- The Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum
- The Peace and Justice Memorial
- The Rosa Parks Museum
- Former slave quarters
- The Edmund Pettis Bridge
The group also participated in Montgomery’s Juneteenth celebrations and worshipped at Dexter Avenue Memorial Baptist Church where the Rev. Dr. Marlin Luther King, Jr. served.
Every day of the trip the group was asked:
- What are you learning about God, yourself, and our communities?
- What is the Holy One asking of you?
Then, on the last day:
- What’s next?
Participants named commitments to carry racial justice work forward beyond their time in the South. Rev. Marian Boyle Rohloff, West Side pastor and trip coordinator, shared:
“The hope is that we grow the base of those committed to the work of racial justice and building an anti-racist congregation at West Side. The work intersects with our congregational and community ministries of justice in legal systems as well.”
Through sharing the trip’s impact with the church as well as in their schools and workplaces, those who traveled have been able to bring voice not just to their personal experiences in Memphis and Alabama, but to 400 years of American history that many don’t (or won’t) talk about.
Our Moravian Covenant for Christian Living “We will not hate, despise, slander or otherwise injure anyone. We will ever strive to manifest love towards all people.”
We are thankful for West Side’s commitment to loving all people through learning and action.
Your gifts to the Racial Awareness, Equity and Reconciliation Fund made this trip possible. To learn more about the RAER Fund and past grant recipients, click here.