I write to you from my hotel room in Birmingham, Alabama, after a bus trip to and from Montgomery. I am fortunate to join the Empower Initiative Learning Lab 2023 with five members of the Peninsula Solidarity Cohort as part of a network of 35 clergy – mostly strangers – from different parts of California who all said yes to the invitation. I am one of four white people in this cohort. Suffice to say it is a privilege to participate.
In just 31 intense hours of this three-day pilgrimage, we have met, intimately dined with, and heard the stories of Bishop Calvin Woods and Reverend Gwendolyn Cook Webb – participants in the Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963 to end segregation. We have visited the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice; the Dexter Ave. Baptist Church and parsonage where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King lived; the Rosa Parks Memorial; the Capitol of the Confederacy, the marketplace of slavery – all within a small radius. Our emotions have run the gamut as we process these experiences in our becoming, becoming who we are to be.
You never know where the faithful road leads or who you will meet as you travel.
This Sunday, Rev. Dakota Brown will join us on the road to Emmaus and share a reflection on Luke 24:13-35. I hope you will be at 1130 Balclutha or in the Zoom room at 10 am for a journey together.
I look forward to seeing you,
Rev. Michael Cronin