Second Anniversary – WPC Vigil for Racial Justice

Sep 15, 2022

VIGIL – a period of time when a group stays in place and quietly waits….a period of purposeful watchfulness.

You wonder if it is going to rain – it’s that sort of day. At least it won’t be so hot, maybe even chilly. But, anyway it is Tuesday and noon on Tuesday means the Vigil for Racial Justice, standing or sitting in front of the church on State Street for an hour.

Holding the banner or carrying a sign – Justice for All, Black Lives Matter, Remember George Floyd – this is what we do.

Sometimes you wonder – but then Archie comes by. Archie who stands on other corners, who greets us with enthusiasm, one good black friend and we, all white and well meaning.

Heather comes down State Street, greeting everyone and asking Paul about his brother who fell and is in hospital.

Ned and Patricia are on Cape Cod. Judy has a dental appointment. Carolyn is here today but soon she will be away once more. Margaret was practicing early so Elizabeth and Dave brought Paul. Mabel holds one end of the banner as Dave wedges the end of the pole against his walker. Two people look at books in the Free Library while a couple watch from the bench by the ramp into the church.

Some walk by with eyes firmly fixed not to see us, but now and again, a face smiles, a hand waves and we hear, “Well done!”

By 12:30 it is time for Elizabeth to pass out the chocolates.

Belinda stops on her way from Emmanuel Baptist to Westminster. Sometimes Fred also comes, but not today.

Next Tuesday it will be two years since we began; standing for something we believe in and, at the same time, enjoying the friendship and fellowship of the thing.

But now Elizabeth and Mabel begin to roll up the banner and we head for the parking lot. It does not rain but the air is heavy and you are glad you have an umbrella. Join us, Tuesdays at noon, and as we remind our community of Westminster’s commitment to racial justice. Read Westminster’s Statement of Solidarity and Call to Action here


Rev. David McMillan, HR is a retired Presbyterian minister. In his retirement he has contributed his talents to Westminster by leading a variety of Bible studies, helping with the newsletter and the church family photo directory, chairing the WPC Centennial Anniversary Planning Committee, and assisted his wife, Elizabeth, organizing the Vigil for Racial Justice events. He and his wife Elizabeth live at The Beverwyck in Slingerlands.

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