A special commemoration of Juneteenth will take place on Saturday, June 19 at 2 p.m. in the pavilion adjacent to the Rec. Park building, which can be accessed from Long Lane.

The worship will include leadership from St. Paul AME Zion, St. James Lutheran, Amos Tabernacle, and Christ Lutheran Churches. In addition, Rev. Dr. Quintin Robertson of the Urban Theological Institute from United Lutheran Seminary will be at the event. Other clergy leaders include the Rev. Michael Stanley, the Rev. Elder David Roberts, the Rev. Michael Allwein, the Rev. Jay Eckman, and the Rev. Andrew Geib.

Elements of the service will include a traditional pouring of water libations as participants acknowledge God’s gifts and the resilient struggle of Black Americans against slavery, Jim Crow, and other forms of discrimination throughout the nation’s history. The service will also feature a moment of “Sankofa,” which is a West African spiritual proverb and teaching reminding people to “Go back and fetch it,” taking hold of the past, our mutual history in such a way that it becomes nourishment and guidance for journeying into our future.

The event will mark the beginning of a day of activities from 2 to 6 p.m. celebrating the emancipation of enslaved Americans living in Texas in 1865, the last to hear the good news of Lincoln’s historic declaration which gave new purpose and moral meaning to the carnage of the Civil War. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs and are invited to enjoy the afternoon’s events.

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