We are holding vigils every Friday during the month of June on 16th Street. The goal is to bring people together (safely!) from various congregations, organizations, and neighborhoods to take a public action against racism and police violence. This is our public, prayerful, meditative response to the murder of George Floyd (and far too many more), as well as our way of being in solidarity with the people protesting in downtown DC and across the country.
We invite people from all religious communities—and our neighbors—to join us in bearing witness to the love that grounds us as people of faith and good will. The plan is to cover as much of 16th NW as possible, although everyone is welcome to hold vigil on major streets in their own neighborhood. Please wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. If your intended location is taken, simply move to an open area. Please bring a sign. These vigils are rain or shine. Please stay out of the roads and do not block the sidewalks (both of which will attract police attention). And please show respect to all other people, regardless of their perspective, and avoid confrontation and violence
This is a decentralized action. There is no program other than 45 minutes of public vigil and then silent witness starting at 5:45 PM when participating institutions toll their bells for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—the amount of time the officer’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck. If you are not near a bell tolling, you can go to the All Souls Church website, https://all-souls.org, for an audio file of the bell tolling (recorded at a vigil June 2), or simply use a timer and be silent. At the end of 8:46, we invite you to pray or meditate, either silently or out loud, on your commitment to ending racism.
RSVP via Facebook or Google Form to get updates on plans and resources. Please call Pastor Renata, or Pastor Lee in the church office 202-829-6727, if you have any questions. And please spread the word as widely as you can.