MLK Day vigil online

Press release


Episcopal Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania

to host online event on MLK Day

BUFFALO, January 10, 2022—The Episcopal Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania will host an online prayer vigil to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 17 from noon until 5 p.m.

Titled “Embodied Peacemaking,” the vigil will include prayers, music, scripture readings, and readings from Dr. King’s writings and speeches. The free event is open to everyone with online registration: .

“In 1963, Dr. King specifically addressed the apathy of white Christians and why African Americans could no longer wait for justice,” said Dr. Gabrie’l Atchison, the dioceses’ missioner for administrator, who has organized the vigil. “Now, many decades later and one year after the death of George Floyd, what steps do we need to take as leaders of the Christian church to become the Beloved Community that Dr. King called us to be?”

The vigil’s guest preachers will include:

Cláudio Carvalhaes, associate professor of worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and author of “Liturgies from Below”

The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean, Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and author of “Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God” and “Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter

The Rev. Lester V. Mackenzie, rector, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Laguna Beach, California

The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and the author of “We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign

Atchison will co-host the vigil with the Rev. Dominique C. Atchison, associate minister for congregational life at Fort Washington Collegiate Church in New York City and Elder Rev. Dorothy Harris, senior pastor of Unity Fellowship Church in Columbia, Maryland.

The Martin Luther King Day Prayer Vigil launches a series of programs funded by a Becoming Beloved Community SEED Grant from the Episcopal Church. Click here to register for upcoming events. Learn more:

The Diocese of Western New York comprises the seven westernmost counties in the state. Its offices are in Tonawanda and its cathedral in Buffalo. The Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania comprises 13 counties in the northwestern quarter of Pennsylvania. Its offices and cathedral are in Erie. The Rt. Rev. Sean W. Rowe is the bishop of both dioceses. Learn more at

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