Wilmington faith leaders to hold interfaith prayer vigil in response to police brutality, protests

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck during an arrest, has spurred lots of unrest locally and nationally.

Some of that unrest has evolved into violent protests across the country while others have been peaceful demonstrations like many that have been held in downtown Wilmington.

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The Ministerial Roundtable of Wilmington is an interracial and interfaith group of faith leaders. They are planning to hold a prayer vigil at noon Tuesday on the grounds of City Hall in downtown Wilmington.

“We wanted to make a statement that represents a faithful response to the events that are going on and offer prayers from a variety of churches for not only our city and community but for the whole country,” said Shawn Blackwelder, pastor of Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church in Carolina Beach.

Cheryl M. Walker is the pastor of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington. She says we have to work hard to turn our emotions into positive change.

“The very first thing is that we all need to vote, that is just crucial, that is just the greatest tool that we have in a democracy,” Walker said.

The pastors are hoping to their actions will facilitate deepening conversations within their faith communities.

“The other thing that we can do is to start looking at our own lives and our own institutions, our churches, our schools and say this is a system of a deeper problem, how do we get at that problem, how do we really start dismantling racism within ourselves, within our institutions so that the real promise of this country actually becomes its reality,” Walker said.

The interfaith prayer vigil will be near the Statue of Liberty located on the grounds of Wilmington City Hall on Tuesday at noon.