After a long summer full of events and activities, our Clergy Liaison Rev. Kevin Jones brought the faith community back together in a “Regathering” S.O.S. Clergy Action Network Breakfast, Saturday, September 17th. Rev. Jones has written a guest post to share his experience with us:
The S.O.S. C.A.N. Breakfast was held at Ebeneezer W.M.C. and pastored by Rev. Edward Jenkins to end the year strong. We discussed our 4th Tuesday Night’s “Night Of Prayer And Praise Against Gun Violence” which on September 27th will be held at Union U.M.C. 121 New York Ave (corner of Bergen Street). The doors will be open at 7 pm and the praise and prayer beginning at 7:30 promptly and ending at 8:30. The praise part of this event is a new addition to NOPAGV. Host Pastor Rev. David Ball thought adding this dimension along with prayer requests will make it more interactive and inviting. His musician and praise leaders will be on hand next Tuesday night.Also discussed was the creation of an event comprised of an evening of food, singing, festivities, and prayer for families of gun or other violence. Many people have lost family members and find themselves suffering during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to Christmas. For many, it is a sad and difficult time. A Committee was formed to plan this community event.I (Rev. Jones) then mentioned the upcoming “My Reality” event designed to allow youth to share their everyday life realities with adults. Adults are not allowed to speak, encouraged to remain silent as a way of helping adults understand the youth and place themselves in their shoes. The event will be held Saturday, Oct 8th at the Bethany U.M.C 1204 St Johns Pl (Albany & troy) from 11 am-2 pm. As I was speaking a 22 yr old young man expressed his approval for this event and begin sharing his story. He went on to say that he started smoking and drinking by age 11 and now has seizures due to K2. he has been incarcerated, his mother died etc. Those in attendance were openly moved. With his story and others like that, we can then learn how to deal with today’s youth. This is what we are trying to achieve with our filmed “My Reality” event.After the benediction several attendees stopped me, visibly moved and shaken, looking to help. After years of attempting to get churches to open up their doors as a safe haven for youth, one church trustee told me he is going to gather the men of his church and open up the dining area to allow young people in. Hallelujah!