United Methodist Church to Host ‘United to Love’ Rally in D.C. on First Anniversary of Violent Charlottesville Protests

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – AUGUST 12: White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clash with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A regional body of the United Methodist Church will host a rally in the nation’s capital on the first anniversary of the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hosted by the UMC Baltimore-Washington Conference, the “United to Love Rally” and gathering will be held at the National Mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

The rally will feature an interfaith worship service as well as music. According to the event’s website, it’s “open to all who believe love is stronger than hate.”

“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,” the conference says on its website.

“We feel compelled to raise a prophetic voice challenging the climate of distrust and fear, shifting the conversation to our common future.”

Foundry United Methodist Church, a Washington, D.C.-based congregation, will be helping out with the United to Love rally.

The Rev. Ben Roberts, director of Social Justice Ministries at Foundry UMC, told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday that they saw their help with the rally as being part of “the daily work of dismantling racism and white privilege.”

“The United to Love Rally is a chance for people of faith to gather in worship and recommit ourselves to the work of justice, peace, and healing,” said Roberts.

“We responded to our bishop’s call for faithful action that seeks not to silence others, but to lift a collective voice of praise and commitment to love.”

Roberts also told CP he hoped that following the rally more people would come to understand that “racism isn’t only present through separate water fountains, hateful speech, or physical violence” but also “pervades our daily interactions in very nuanced and internalized ways.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski