It was a day of inter-faith prayer against rising gun violence at Cardinal Ritter College Prep’s football field in the city of St Louis.
“We’re all concerned about the gun violence in St. Louis, and I have a grandson. He’s just two, but it just hit home with all these babies killed out here in the streets this summer,” said Melissa Green, member of Shiloh Temple Church of God and Christ.
“I am concerned and outraged that our community is not doing more to ensure that children will not be killed wherever they live and whoever they are,” said Ginny Brown Daniel, Conference Minister of United Church of Christ.
While the choir sang along with the people, there were prayers and speeches from ministers and bishops of all backgrounds. The school officials then began talking about the core values of the school with people listening attentively to the messages.
With more than two dozen young people dying of gun violence in the Metro Saint Louis area, Mayor Lyda Krewson spoke at the event and named some of the young victims.
“Twenty-two children of color have been killed in St. Louis this year alone and that is 22 too many,” Daniel said.
“To me, it is important to have the church and schools together because when people respect and love God, they respect other’s lives,” Green said.
Others spoke on the young ones who died deserved to live their dreams, the stress of being a child as of late, and the importance of creating positive alternatives.
“Beyond a vote doesn’t count for your grandchild or neighbor’s child or your friend’s child being murdered in the street,” said Green. She added, that city leaders had tools to make changes to improve safety in the city.
“It was beautiful that we were sitting there, and it didn’t matter what we believed, how we understood God, or how we worshipped,” said Daniel. “At that moment, we all worshipped together, and we all prayed together for the peace of St. Louis and that all children will be safe.”
It was a beautiful time of prayer and worship where more than ten congregations were present at the meeting. 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”