Commemorative Anti-Racism Rally on the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Our synod participates in the Illinois Conference of Churches (ICC).  Through its anti-racism team, the ICC is arranging for buses to Washington, D.C. for the anti-racism rally on the national mall on April 4, 2018 – the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Buses will leave from LaGrange, Springfield and Carbondale. Cost is $175 per person which includes the bus, a sack lunch, bottle of water, and an event t-shirt. This is the ICC’s direct cost, with no mark-up.

I have attached two files related to the rally itself: the vision statement in pdf format and a description of event details in pdf format.  Also, I have attached two files that have more information on this travel arrangement with the ICC: a flyer in pdf format and a press release in Word format.

The rally itself is an effort of the National Council of Churches.  Presiding Bishop Eaton will be attending this rally, as will many other pastors and lay people of the ELCA.  Here is further information offered by Bishop Eaton:


Please register for the rally at  The process is very quick and you can sign up to receive regular updates. New details are regularly added to the website.


You are encouraged to make your own arrangements. The National Council of Churches has posted a list of reduced-rate lodging options, most of which are in Virginia with easy access to the Metro. More options will soon be posted.            

ELCA Presence

The Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill will be open from 7-10 am as a place for people to rest. Please note that the church is on the opposite end of the National Mall as the rally.

We are asking all ELCA folks to wear their “God’s Work. Our Hands” (or bright yellow) t-shirts, and to bring along synod and congregational banners and other ways of highlighting our presence at the rally.

Meeting up as ELCA, except as we are able to find each other, will be challenging given the anticipated numbers of people, and the early start to the rally at 7 am. As more information becomes available we will continue to assess the options. 

Food & Rest Facilities

There will be food trucks lining the rally site on the national mall, as well as café options in the Smithsonian Museums. Portable toilet facilities will also be available. Additionally, Lutheran Church of the Reformation will be available as an open rest space for participants – though please note that this is at the opposite end of the mall as the rally site.

Other Events

On Tuesday evening there will be a service of worship in the Orthodox Tradition at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 6:30 pm.

On Thursday, the NCC is organizing a day of action in the Nation’s Capital. Details have yet to be released; updates will be posted to the event website as they are available.  


Check the website for the full list of partners, which is regularly updated. Partners include: The National Council of Churches, the National African American Clergy Network, the Conference of National Black Churches, the Franciscan Action Network, Sojourners, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Churches Uniting in Christ, the Mennonite Central Committee, and most recently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Poor Peoples’ Campaign. Conversations with additional partners are ongoing.

Other Ways to Participate

Here are a few ideas for other ways to participate in the rally for those who cannot make it to Washington DC. Feel free to adapt and share these ideas as you see fit, and to share your ideas.  

Pray as individuals, congregations, and with ecumenical and inter-religious partners.

Set Free by Truth, Lenten Devotions prepared by the four heads of communion of the Anglican/Episcopal and Lutheran Churches in North America, reflecting on matters of truth-telling and racial justice.

In Times Like These…A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement, an ecumenical collection developed by Bread for the World on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Poor People’s Campaign.

View the events live as individuals or in groupsThe events will be made available live through either Facebook Live and/or livestreaming. The links will be shared as they are available.

Engage as ELCA and with ecumenical and inter-religious partners in ongoing acts of truth-telling and racial justice

ELCA Social Statement, Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture

Freed in Christ Study Guide:

ELCA Racial Justice Ministries Resources:

ELCA-AME Congregational Resource:

ELCA-AMEZ Statement of Mission:

God’s peace to all of you as we witness to racial reconciliation and righteousness in the name of our Lord and Savior whose righteousness bears all our sin and reconciles us to God and to one another,

S. John Roth


Central/Southern Illinois Synod (ELCA)

524 So. 5th St.

Springfield, IL  62701


844.330.2747 (toll free)

Instagram: Bishop_John_Roth


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