Community event at Connect Church in Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
Faith leaders and members of the Charlottesville community are coming together in response to the upcoming anniversary of August 12th.
“It will take the whole church working together, God's not going to just use one church in a community, but all of the community working together,” Connect Church Pastor Eileen Lehmann said.
They gathered under one roof this weekend seeking reconciliation, understanding and a way forward from the violent events surrounding last summer’s Unite the Right rally.
“Everybody is screaming for some kind of recognition, some kind of voice in the culture, but alone we're asking for something greater,” said Pastor Jonathan Thomas, Civil Righteousness Inc.
Organizers say we have to learn to work together.
“We have to be willing to stop pointing the finger,” Thomas said. ”We have to change our speech, we can't use us versus them language.”
Pastor Thomas says we live in an instant-gratifying culture but it's a process: revolutions happen quickly, but reformations take generations.
“I think if we're truly concerned about eliminating and eradicating racism and injustice in the land then we have to think like reformers,” he said.
“The new perspective is that man is created in God's image, and racism is a denial of the image of God in another person,” Lehmann said. “And so, if we want to look for that image in one another and work together so that his kingdom will come and his rule will be done in our community.”
The keynote pastor says that he hopes this weekend initiate a process amongst the faith community of strategic relationship building, communication and healing for the whole city.