The city’s religious communities will unite for the second annual prayer vigil, organized by Wilmington Faiths Against Gun Violence (WFAGV) on Monday evening, Dec, 19. The gathering will include prayers for the victims delivered by local clergy and well as community activist Kevin Spears and Representative Susi Hamilton.
“Some 30,000 Americans die every year of gun shot wounds, another 60,000 are injured,” said WFAGV spokesman Don Arabian. “That’s 90,000 people each year killed or injured, which roughly equals the population of Wilmington.
A press release about the vigil states: “Tragically, ever year, gun violence incidents in Greater Wilmington contribute to those statistics. WFAGV invites all area residents to come together and pray together against gun violence.”
At least 30 congregations, including Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups, are part of the events; ministers, rabbis and imams will all offer prayers.
“The vigil is an interfaith effort of individuals concerned about all violence in our community, especially gun violence,” Arabian said. “We are trying to get past the polarizing nature of the gun debate and begin an honest dialog about gun violence.
“As people of faith, we can’t stand by silently. If we do that, we condone the violence,” he added.
An instrumental musical prelude to the vigil will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the vigil itself will run from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. Congregations will gather at Innis Park – on the south side of Thalian Hall on 3rd St and Princess St. – in downtown Wilmington. The event will be held as part of the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath.
Sponsoring faith communities and organizations currently include: Church of the Servant Episcopal, St. Stephen A.M.E Church, Winter Park Presbyterian Church, Warner Temple A.M.E Zion Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Temple of Israel, Church of the Good Shepherd, B’Nai Israel Congregation, St. James Episcopal Church, Chestnut St. Presbyterian Church, Tauheed Islamic Center of Wilmington, St. Luke A.M.E Zion Church, St. Jude MCC, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington, Price Cathedral A.M.E Zion Church, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Unity of Wilmington, Hope Baptist Church, New Covenant Holiness Church, Speaks Temple A.M.E Zion, St. Andrews On-the-Sound Episcopal Church, St. Andrews A.M.E Zion Church, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, Bowen Chapel A.M.E Zion Church, Iglesia Cristianas de Wilmington, Grace Episcopal Church Whiteville, Moms-N-Mourning, and the North Carolina Council of Churches.