Churches Invited to Ring Bells for Juneteenth

Churches Invited to Ring Bells for Juneteenth

A number of churches of varying denominations in southern Rhode Island are inviting churches across the Conference to join them in ringing their bells on Saturday, June 19, at 8 PM in commemoration of Juneteenth, and in memory of George Floyd and the many others who have been killed due to their skin color.

Juneteenth is the recognition of the day enslaved people in the United States were emancipated through President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Juneteenth – the 19th of June – was first officially celebrated in Texas in 1866 when people of African descent celebrated their newfound freedom through prayer and song.

"Let’s ALL stand United with our sisters and brothers of color this Juneteenth by ringing our church bells at 8 PM on Saturday evening," said Rev. Fred Everson, senior pastor of Peace Dale Congregational Church in RI. "Ringing together, we are recognizing our progress towards racial equity thus far, while at the same time confessing that ... true freedom for ALL still eludes us."

The Rhode Island churches plan to ring the bells 1 toll every 10 seconds, for 9.5 minutes, the length of time a police officer knelt on George Floyd's neck, killing him.

In their invitation, the churches write: "May our churches form a bell choir that spans the nation, striking a unifying note for racial justice. Working together, this truly can be, a 'sweet land of liberty' for All God’s children! Let’s Re-member our community, and let freedom ring, my friends!"
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