Clergy plan healing ceremony for communityBy Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / September 8, 2017
The Greensboro Pulpit Forum of Clergy is planning a healing ceremony to discuss the next steps in the efforts to address violent crime in the city.
A Service of Healing for Hurting Hearts will be held on September 10 at 4:30 p.m. at Trinity AME Zion Church on Florida Street.
The pastors say that Sunday’s service is geared towards addressing the hurt, anguish and pain of those who have experienced violent crime, particularly those who have had loved ones murdered.
“Our city is experiencing a near record number of homicides and in the business of our city we clergy have found out that we have not taken the time to address the hurt and pain of those who are left behind,” said Rev. Amos Quick III, N.C. District 58 House of Representatives member.
At the end of August, the Greensboro Police Department had reported 28 homicides for the year so far, up 75 percent from this time in 2016. At an August 18 press conference at Governmental Plaza the group of clergy addressed growing concerns of the number of homicides in the city. Led by Quick, the group accused the city and police of not doing enough to combat violence, or solve murders, particularly in communities of color.
Quick said that press conference spurred the collaboration with the city on the healing service.
“We’re looking to move this from the city’s only response being law enforcement, to the city’s response being compassionate, as well as proactive,” said Quick. “Why don’t we designate the year 2018 as the year of no homicides? We know that may not be the case, but if we get the whole city’s attention around the issue of homicide and how we as a community can come together, we can definitely reduce it.”
Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that she felt the pastors had the perfect platform to address the community’s concerns and it all doesn’t rest on the city.
“I think the power of the pulpit is very, very strong,” said Vaughan, who noted she assisted the pastors, along with the GPD, to contact victims’ families about the healing service.
“It’s important to talk about how we [community] can partner with the police and how to build an atmosphere of trust,” she added.
The clergy is encouraging the whole community to come together and show love and support for the families who are still grieving. Sunday’s service will also provide information and resources from support groups to grief counselors to speak to people.
President of the pulpit forum, Rev. Daran Mitchell of Trinity AME Zion Church noted that Sunday’s worship service is to facilitate open dialogue amongst community members.
Mitchell said, “It is my heartfelt desire that we will come together on Sunday to worship, to feel, to heal, to reconnect, and to recommit our efforts and energy to make Greensboro a peaceful place for everybody.”