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July 4th Oration – Civil Rights as Spiritual Pilgrimage

July 4 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Delving into deeper meanings of Freedom, Justice and Divine Image, Donna Elia will reflect upon the role of people of faith historically and currently and the need for repentance, reparation and anti-racism. She will reflect upon a call to wholeness and theological reflection, as well as a commitment to a lifelong journey of justice-seeking.


Rev. Donna Elia has been an ordained Presbyterian Minister for 35 years. Since 2000, she has been serving as executive director of Troy Area United Ministries. She is also pastor of St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown. She co-chairs Albany Presbytery’s Anti-Racism Task Force. She is also a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo. Donna and her partner, Marian, live in Niskayuna and have a son, Luke.


We will be acknowledging the volunteer service contributed to UREC by Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, Judy Wing, Brea Barthel, Emily Durstewitz and Alvin Espino.

As in past years, the program runs from 11am-12pm, to be followed by lunch from 12pm-1pm. Please bring your own chair if you can. Please consider parking on Third Street which runs along the ‘backside’ of the Myers Residence Campus. Third Street, which is one-way running east, is easily accessed from Henry Johnson Blvd.

I am afraid we will not have a children’s space this year. We cannot find anyone to manage that space. Children are welcome but corresponding adults will need to bring things to occupy the child/children.

Looking forward to sharing July 4th with you at The Myers Residence backyard! If weather is inclement, we will withdraw to the Hoop House (Greenhouse) on the Third Street properties.




“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all others in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy – a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.” Frederick Douglass, 1852, “What to the Slave is Your Fourth of July?”




July 4
11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Mary Liz Stewart


The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence
194 Livingston Avenue
Albany, NY 12210 United States
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