Something we will be doing at TEP is highlighting the exciting things happening in the fight for equity and justice on the ground, being carried out by you. Below is an update from one of our TEP Ambassadors, Catherine Illian, about a significant prayer event that happened recently in her community of Richmond, VA:
On October 5 two Richmond City Council members, Cynthia Newbille and Michelle Mosby, and our School Board member Don Coleman, asked for our community to gather in prayer together at every city school at 12 noon. A small group gathered together at Chimborazo Elementary School from two local churches, Asbury United Methodist and East End Fellowship. One church is African-American, one multicultural. Even though it was a small group of people, we prayed together in unity across class and racial lines. That in itself is a beautiful thing. Students, parents, and community members together agreed in prayer about our schools– evidence of God’s Spirit at work in our community.
We join with Catherine in celebrating this event, as we believe that prayer is essential to carrying out the mission of educational equity, and that crossing racial and class boundaries to join together in prayer is foundational for crossing and destroying these boundaries in our schools. We are thankful to Catherine and others in her community who are setting such a great example, and look forward to partnering with them in their important work in the days to come. (If you are interested in reading more about Catherine and her community in Richmond, check out this article about them that appeared in Christianity Today.)
If you’re interested in doing something similar in your own city – or if you just want to be inspired – check out the Welcome Statement and Pledge Statement used by Catherine’s group at their event:
On Behalf of the Honorable 9th District Councilwoman Michelle Mosby, the Honorable 7th District Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Richmond and Vicinity as well as Citizens against Crime. A special thanks to the Mayor of this City (Dwight C. Jones) for his overall leadership and passion as it relates to the betterment of our City. I would like to welcome you and thank you all for joining with us for this Citywide Community Unity Hour of Prayer. This is a call to a concerned Richmond Community to raise awareness and to take hold of its destiny; to cry out through faith for a safer Richmond, a more cohesive Richmond, and a better Richmond.
Throughout the City on this day- at multiple locations at this very hour, concerned men and women-even children will be standing TOGETHER in prayer and in hope for this Our City. We will be saying many of the same things, echoing many of the same sentiments, praying at the exact same time; even making the same commitments to see a change for the better.
We believe that as we unify on this day, as we become one City with one heartbeat and one mind that crime can decrease and cease; that education can flourish; that understanding and mutual ground will be possible and that the Love we so desperately need to both experience and give will abound.
We believe and are praying for both a revival and renaissance here in our City – one rooted in a faith in God and made apparent when we allow God to work through each and every one of us.
Pledge Statement read together by attendees:
We will not give our children over to violence.
We will not give the communities in which they live over to violence.
We will not allow our children to matriculate through school and not be educated .. and not be encouraged .. and not be empowered.
We will not allow the potential of our precious young ones to be drowned out by the tide of low expectation or unacceptable and inadequate resources.
We will not make excuses, for they are our children -every single one of them: from various different backgrounds and of various skin colors, ethnicities, and religious viewpoints.
WE WILL STAND IN THE GAP – TOGETHER – UNITED AND FOCUSED ON ONE GOAL: and that is the wellbeing of our children, our communities and our City as a whole.
- AND WITHOUT FEAR…..
We are therefore able to do what we have been entrusted to do and hereby commit, recommit or simply continue to commit ourselves to the task outlined above on this day and forevermore.
From the Northside to the East End; from the East End to the West End; from the West End to the Southside: We are ONE Richmond.
*If you have an update about something happening on the ground in your community that you would like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org