Charlottesville Clergy Coalition Hold Interfaith Service to Mark One-Year Anniversary of Violent White Supremacist Rally

The Charlottesville Clergy Collective holds an interfaith service Aug. 9, 2018, at The Haven as part of a week of faith-based activities to mark one year since hate groups’ demonstrations ended in violence in this Virginia city. Photo: Charlottesville Clergy Collective

A coalition of Charlottesville, Virginia, area clergy held an interfaith worship service last week in preparation for the one-year anniversary of the violent white supremacist rally held in their city.

Charlottesville Clergy Collective, which was originally formed in response to the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, held the service last Thursday. More than 250 people attended the service, making it about ten times the size of the second annual “Unite the Right” rally held in Washington, DC on Sunday.

Michael Cheuk, secretary for the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, told The Christian Post in an interview Monday that the theme for the service was “Making Our Way Together: A Service of Gratitude, Repentance, and Hope.”

“We hope attendees would come together in gratitude, acknowledge and repent together our history of racism, and make our way together with resolve and hope to work toward a beloved community in Charlottesville,” explained Cheuk.

The clergy group also organized 30-minute prayer and meditation gatherings from Aug. 6-10, which took place twice a day at 6 in the morning and 12 noon at Market Street Park.

“To pray or contemplate in community is a very powerful and much different than doing it in isolation or alone and as parts of the Charlottesville community; we are really in this all together,” said Annie Marie Smith, a future chaplain and participant in the daily gatherings, to NBC News 29.

On Aug. 12, 2017, a few hundred white supremacists from across the U.S. descended upon Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park.

Known as the “Unite the Right” rally, dozens of people were injured in clashes between white supremacist groups, Antifa and various counter-protesters.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski