Multi-faith Prayer Walk for Children, Families, and Neighbors at Risk
About mid-morning on Friday, June 29, we received an email that was forwarded to us by a friend letting us know a prayer walk for children, families, and neighbors at risk would be taking place in downtown Painesville that very night, so even though we had plans we quickly shifted them around in order to attend.
The email went on to read that the purpose of the event was to pray in witness to the plight of the more than 2,000 children recently separated from their families through ICE raids of various businesses here in Northeastern Ohio and across the country.
From our standpoint, the three main leaders of the prayer walk were Sister Dolores Mikula of St. Mary Catholic Church, Mother Vanessa Clark of St. James Episcopal Church (both in Painesville), and Reverend Lisa O' Rear from St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Mentor, which is offering sanctuary to an undocumented family.
All told, at least 200 people showed up to take part, and at least fifteen local congregations of all faiths were represented at the prayer walk by either clergy or parishioners or both.
The walk started at St. Mary Catholic Church and did a near circle through downtown Painesville, ending at St. James Episcopal Church, where a short service was held.
Along the way there were stops at the Juvenile Detention Center, Painesville City Hall, and Lake County Jobs and Family Services, where responsive prayers were said, testimonies were given, and songs were sung in both English and in Spanish.
During the service at St. James that concluded the evening, one of the speakers was Ms. Renee Blau, a spiritual leader at the Temple Am Shalom in Mentor.
Something Ms. Blau said that stood out to us was "We gather together as one family under God, to pray for the ancient quest for liberty and freedom for all people. We also pray that we should become infused with renewed spirit, inspiration and understanding. May the problems of all who are downtrodden be our problems; may the concerns of all who strive for liberty and equality be our struggles. We pray with them and for them, that the coming days and years will bring with them the promise of a better life."
Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC