Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We're walking again!

Sojourners for Abolition and Reconciliation
Yes, We're Walking Again! It's a new year, and we have a new journey ahead of us. Our theme this year is SOfAR - Soujourners for Abolition and Reconciliation.

We're planning another pilgrimage to bring about restorative justice, compassion for all victims of violence, and to abolish the death penalty . Like last year's 300 mile pilgrimage from Raleigh to Washington D.C. (“We have come SOfAR”), we have several goals:

  • Support for homicide victims’ families
  • Compassion for families of persons on death row
  • Restorative Justice that helps individuals, families and communities heal
  • Abolish the death penalty

This year, we will walk through eastern North Carolina. Our plans are still tentative, but we plan to walk from Raleigh to places like Wilson, Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Williamston, Greenville, Vanceboro, New Bern, Maysville, Jacksonville, Beulaville, Kenansville, Kinston, Goldsboro, Smithfield and points in between before walking back into Raleigh to the State Capitol. We can visit other communities, depending on interest.

We currently plan to depart Raleigh on Sunday, June 14 and walk for 14 to 16 days, averaging about 20 miles a day for a total of 300 to 325 miles. ( “We have SOfAR to go.”) We hope to have events along the way - talks with church groups or community organizations, panel discussions, film screenings, Bible studies, talks with victim's families or with death row relatives, meetings with legislators or town councils, and so on. We're looking for local people to help organize events in their towns.

We hope you will join us on the road or in spirit. This event is physically and spiritually strenuous, but there are many ways to participate. We need walkers and companions — either core walkers who want to go the distance, or friends who want to join us for a morning, an afternoon, or a couple days.
But we also need a lot of support, including:

  • meals,
  • lodging,
  • water and other essentials,
  • "sag wagon" drivers and other transportation,
  • home town event organizers,
  • donations (monetary or in kind, including a mid-journey rest stop location),
  • home town media contacts (newspapers, etc.),
  • and much more.

This pilgrimage will be both a prayerful experience and a call to public conversation about the issues above, with an emphasis on ending the death penalty and supporting all persons impacted by homicide. It will be grounded in Christian spirituality, while remaining respectful of other faith perspectives and will be open to persons committed to prayer and nonviolence regardless of their formal religious faith. We need to hear from people like you. We need partners to walk and to provide the crucial support needed by the Pilgrimage in various forms.

Our 'friends' on this year's pilgrimage include: Capital Restorative Justice Project, Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation, People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, and many others. We hope to include you in our list!

Please direct inquiries to Scott Bass at Nazareth House, (919) 231-9752 or email us at

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