Good Samaritan to Host Civil Rights Pilgrimage in March

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama
photo: Jim Naughton

Good Samaritan, Brownsburg will host a civil rights pilgrimage to Memphis, Tennessee, and Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama, March 21-24.

The trip, which will be led by Lara Dreyer, Deb Samples and Erin Tanner of Good Samaritan and the congregation’s vicar, the Rev. Gray Lesesne, is also sponsored by the Diocese of Indianapolis Chapter of Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) and underwritten by the Diocese of Indianapolis.

“We invite people to walk along with us in March 2020 in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and countless others who fought for freedom, dignity, and civil rights for African Americans,” Lesesne said.

Stops on the pilgrimage include the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where Lewis and other civil rights protesters were beaten by armed police on March 7, 1965, known as Bloody Sunday. The group will also visit the Alabama Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, opened in 2018 by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).

“We will read, reflect, pray, and bear witness, we will participate in discussions, singing, and prayers, and we will reflect on our own baptismal call to be seekers and agents of justice, peace, and reconciliation,” Dreyer said.

The pilgrimage is open to adults in the Diocese of Indianapolis and older youth accompanied by a parent or guardian, she said. The cost of the trip is $525, which includes charter motor coach transportation, lodging, admissions to historic sites and museums, and most meals. The UBE is offering scholarships of up to $400 per person. The deadline to reserve a spot is December 9, and all payments must be made by January 15.

Online information sessions will be held in December via video conference, said Dreyer. Interested participants can sign up online for more information and visit the Good Samaritan website. All pilgrims will be expected to take part in a series of discussions on dismantling racism during January and February; sessions will be held in Brownsburg and online.

To learn more about the pilgrimage, email pilgrim@churchthatserves.org or visit the Good Samaritan website.