On June 15thover 150 people gathered in Crown Heights to call for an end to shootings and killings. The group was led by local faith leaders and specifically Save Our Streets Clergy Action Network (S.O.S. C.A.N.) S.O.S. C.A.N. The network is led by the S.O.S. clergy liaison Reverend Kevin Jones.
Below is a message from Rev. Jones about the event and the effect he hopes it will have on the neighborhood as a whole.
“The beginning of the summer started with violence. The first weekend in June 25 people were shot across the city and two were killed in Brooklyn. While most of us read the paper or watched the news and shook our heads in disgust and disbelief, God was raising up an army to take a stand against gun violence.
Last week I, on behalf of the S.O.S. C.A.N., Rev. Alpha Sylvester, Rev. Wenton Fyne , Pastors, Clergy, Politicians, and approximately 150 men and women from various faiths and religions took to the streets. They gathered on the corners along St. Johns Place in Crown Heights and marched to spread a message. Fervent Effectual prayers and highly spirited songs of inspiration filled the streets and created a powerful atmosphere. The group marched with banners letting the neighborhood know first that the churches care about the neighborhood, and second that our children’s safety is a paramount concern.
It was not about which church you were from, or one’s denominational affiliation, which tends to divide us, but about the church’s presence in the community. Each block walked together as we sang, “O when the saints go marching in.” We stopped and said prayers for Mercy, Grace, Love, and Peace. A different pastor was in charge of each corner, and we stopped to hear their messages at every block.
We chanted, “WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!” After the march the group assembled inside Bethany United Methodist Church for refreshments and fellowship. The entire day was an awesome display of the faith community working together. During and after the event, the sense was palpable that, together we can Save Our Streets!