A coalition of Charlottesville, Virginia, space clergy held an interfaith worship service final week in preparation for the one-year anniversary of the violent white supremacist rally held of their metropolis.
Charlottesville Clergy Collective, which was initially shaped in response to the 2015 mass capturing at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, held the service final Thursday. Greater than 250 individuals attended the service, making it about ten instances the scale of the second annual “Unite the Proper” rally held in Washington, DC on Sunday.
Michael Cheuk, secretary for the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, instructed The Christian Publish in an interview Monday that the theme for the service was “Making Our Manner Collectively: A Service of Gratitude, Repentance, and Hope.”
“We hope attendees would come collectively in gratitude, acknowledge and repent collectively our historical past of racism, and make our method along with resolve and hope to work towards a beloved neighborhood in Charlottesville,” defined Cheuk.
The clergy group additionally organized 30-minute prayer and meditation gatherings from Aug. 6-10, which occurred twice a day at 6 within the morning and 12 midday at Market Road Park.
“To wish or ponder in neighborhood is a really highly effective and far totally different than doing it in isolation or alone and as components of the Charlottesville neighborhood; we’re actually on this all collectively,” stated Annie Marie Smith, a future chaplain and participant within the every day gatherings, to NBC Information 29.
On Aug. 12, 2017, a couple of hundred white supremacists from throughout the U.S. descended upon Charlottesville to protest the removing of a Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park.
Referred to as the “Unite the Proper” rally, dozens of individuals had been injured in clashes between white supremacist teams, Antifa and numerous counter-protesters.
The worst incident came when 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, injuring 19 people and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Earlier this summer, during a hearing held in Charlottesville, Fields pleaded not guilty to the 30 charges brought against him on Aug. 12.
Jason Kessler, the organizer of last year’s rally that turned violent, held an anniversary gathering near the White House at Lafayette Square Sunday evening. According to reports, less than two dozen people showed up. Kessler used to be a supporter of former President Barack Obama and an Occupy Wall Street activist.
The Clergy Collective was not the only religious entity holding events supporting racial unity in response to the white supremacist rally.
On Sunday, the United Methodist Church’s Baltimore-Washington Conference organized a “United to Love” event at the National Mall in response to the white supremacist gathering.
“The United to Love Rally is an alternative to the hatred, but it will also be much more as people come together to claim and share God’s love, peace and justice,” stated the conference on the event website.
“We feel compelled to raise a prophetic voice challenging the climate of distrust and fear, shifting the conversation to our common future.”