DC “Field Trips”


This year we wanted to utilize some “National Treasures” to help us reflect, learn, discuss and grow in some area related to our conference theme.  Instead of offering workshops with folks sitting around tables in a room on the University of Maryland campus, we will be offering “field trip” opportunities.  We will be exploring our theme of breaking down borders and walls in connection with one or more of the museums or sites in the District of Columbia.  Please read the descriptions and fill in your preferences so as to allow us to make all of the final logistical plans.  We will be utilizing the DC Metro for most of the transportation. There are one or two “field trips” that will be using van transportation if you are unable to handle a lot of walking.  We’ll ALL rendezvous by 6PM on Capitol Hill at Lutheran Church of the Reformation for dinner!

If you have any questions or would like to assist with one of the Field Trips, please contact Mark Coulter (prmark@holytrinitychapelhill.org).

Rank the THREE that are most interesting to you on your registration form.

1. ELCA Advocacy Office: 

 “Along with all citizens, Christians have the responsibility to defend human rights, and to work for freedom, justice, peace, environmental well-being, and good order in public life.”  Join in this experience to dialogue with our ELCA Advocacy Office and learn how campus ministry can engage with advocacy.  This trip will include a tour of the US Capitol, visit with congressional staffers and discussion with our ELCA staffers in DC.  We’ll give special focus to upcoming 2016 election issues and the new ELCAvotes! program.

2. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Explore the museum’s resources for faith communities with the Director of the Museum’s Programs on Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust (and Bonhoeffer scholar) Dr. Vicki Barnett. Included is a tour of the permanent exhibition and a special exhibition that explores the collaboration and complicity of individuals in Nazi Germany’s persecution and murder of Jews. Conversation after the tour is included. More information at http://somewereneighbors.ushmm.org/

3. War Memorial Tour (Vietnam, Korea, WWI & WWII)

Visit several war memorials and other prominent sites with discussion and reflection about Lutheran engagement around wartime citizenship, life in Christ, and God’s promises of peace in a city representing the might of the nation. Led by an ELCA military chaplain.  Be prepared to walk 1-2 miles.

4. Islamic Cultural Center

Join us for this opportunity to visit one of the DC area Islamic Cultural Centers and engage in conversation regarding Christian/Islam relations and the barriers that divide us. We are hoping to have the Muslim Chaplain and Iman at the University of Maryland lead the tour and conversation.  This will be a driving tour and not involve the heart of DC until dinner (may involve a Turkish bath, if interested!).

5. National Museum of the American Indian – Native American Advocacy

Learn about Native American advocacy initiatives and explore the newest Smithsonian – the National Museum of the American Indian. Guest speakers may include the ELCA Director for Native American Ministries or past Director Gordon Straw and a representative from the NCAI – National Congress of American Indians, which is the oldest Native American advocacy group. A museum curator or staff member will introduce several exhibits and then you will have time to explore the museum on your own.

6. MLK Memorial/ Jefferson Memorial/ Lincoln Memorial

In light of increased conversations around race in the United States, participants will take a walking tour of the above memorials, having read King’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’. the group will share a guided conversation about race and privilege.

7. Environmental Eco-justice

Community activists and conservation groups have been rallying to form a coalition to restore DC’s “Forgotten River.” Participants will visit Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens. Community members along the Anacostia have been coming together to restore this park, sparking new environmental stewardship programs, and connecting youth with valuable green space in DC. Finally, participants will also see the future site of the 11th Street Bridge Park (http://www.bridgepark.org/).

8.  Create Your Own

Recognizing that some in our community may have other needs and opportunities for learning, reflection, and restoration than what these field trips can provide, we offer you this option.  Be on your own! You are invited to join the group at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation near the Supreme Court Building on Capitol Hill for the catered dinner.  All we ask is that you let us know so that we can plan appropriately!