The Westminster Vigil

Now, as the days grow warm, is a great time to join the Westminster Vigil for Racial Justice, held every Tuesday from 12 noon until 1:00 in front of the church on State Street. You will be more than welcome.

A “Vigil” sounds terribly religious and formal, something done in black robes silently, not on busy sidewalks but in great stone buildings, far from the sounds of traffic passing by.

But that is not our vigil. We picked the name from another church where members and friends have stood on the sidewalk of their church for many months, holding signs as motorists rush past. That seemed a good thing to do and so the Westminster Vigil.

Every Tuesday we unroll our banner and hold our homemade signs saying “Black Lives Matter”, or naming one of the men who have died at the hands of the police, or simply saying what we want to say. We are joined by members of First Presbyterian. Many of us are old enough to remember World War II, but not all are antiquated!

And, we are not silent. Perhaps we should be, but we aren’t. Rather we chat with each other sharing the joy of our release from quarantines and isolation.

Do we accomplish much of anything? Now and again, someone walking by will greet us while passing cars may honk their horns in support. All of us, up until now, are white and that’s ok, it seems to us, because racial justice in America is a problem white people must recognize. We would, however, welcome anyone, anytime. We doubt many minds are changed, but we hope a few people recognize this great building is home to a people who are alive to the purposes of our God for a nation we dearly love.

Come join us! Tuesdays from 12 noon to 1:00 pm. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.

Elizabeth McMillan regularly contributes her talents to Westminster through various activities such as serving as a Deacon and organizing the Vigil for Racial Justice events. She and her husband, Dave, live at The Beverwyck in Slingerlands.

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