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More than 30 religious leaders in Evanston have issued a call for prayer in connection with the expected grand jury decision regarding the fatal shooting of a black youth by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., last August.

The incident has led to ongoing protests in Ferguson, some of which have turned violent. Missouri’s governor Monday declared a state of emergency, allowing him to call out the National Guard once the grand jury decision is announced. That announcement is expected before the end of this month.


Update 7 a.m. 11/22/14: The clergy group has also announced plans for a Community Time of Prayer event at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Ave., at 7 p.m. on the day the grand jury decision is announced.


In a statement the religious leaders in Evanston said that whether or not the grand jury decides to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown “the entire nation will be impacted,” and they called for “healing and reconciliation.”

November 18, 2014

To Our Evanston Community,

We, who serve as Faith Leaders within this community, invite you to join us in ongoing prayer as we await the decision of the Ferguson, Missouri Grand Jury regarding the shooting of Michael Brown. Whatever the Grand Jury decides, the entire nation will be impacted along with the community of Ferguson, Missouri.

We affirm the divine intent that binds us together in human community. Thus, we are all affected by the deepening fractures and the escalating human suffering in this country caused by violence, injustice, and racism.

We add our voices to those locally and nationally who call for healing and reconciliation. We also affirm that the realization of the divine vision for peace and justice requires holy boldness, compassion, and faithful work toward that vision in our relationships, our communities, our congregations, individually, and in the world. We undergird with prayer those who have and will continue to peacefully seek to bring justice and reconciliation to Ferguson whether they are in government, houses of faith, or marching in the streets.

We unite across our various faith traditions to affirm our commitment to continue the sacred work of building diverse community. Our Evanston houses of worship will be open for those who desire to gather in prayer when the Ferguson Grand Jury decision is announced.

And we pray.
We pray for Ferguson, Missouri.
We pray for our Evanston community.
We pray for our nation.
We pray for our world.

We are stronger together than we are apart.

Signed,

Reverend Philip Bentley, Pastor, Mt. Zion Tabernacle Apostolic Church

Reverend Gessel Berry, Pastor, Sherman United Methodist Church

Reverend Debra K. Bullock, Rector, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

Jane Cheema, Pastor of Youth and Family, First United Methodist Church

Reverend Kurt Condra, Senior Minister, Unity on the North Shore*

Reverend Patricia Efiom, Senior Pastor, Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church

Dean L. Francis, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church*

Reverend Delores Harris, Pastor, Oasis Christian Ministries International

Bishop Fred Harris, Senior Pastor, Oasis Christian Ministries International

Reverend Linnette Hill, Associate Pastor for Missions, Health and Wellness, Second Baptist Church*

Asayo Horibe, President Emerita, Buddhist Council of the Midwest

Reverend R. D. Hudgens, Second Baptist Church*

Chaplain David Jones, Evanston Fire Department

Reverend Betty E. Landis, Pastor, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Evanston*, Interfaith Clergy of Evanston Co-Convener

John Lang, Vacancy Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church

Pastor Deanna Langle, Lutheran Campus Ministry at Northwestern University/University Lutheran Church

Rabbi Andrea London, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue*

Reverend Bret Lortie, Unitarian Church of Evanston, Interfaith Clergy of Evanston Co-Convener

Reverend Velda Love, Second Baptist Church*

Reverend Dr. Karen E. Mosby, Moderator, Evanston Pastors Fellowship, Pastor of Pastoral Care and Administration, Second Baptist Church*

Laura Nutini, Delegate from St. Nicholas Church to Interfaith Action of Evanston; Ecumenical and interfaith Committee of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Father Robert Oldershaw, Pastor Emeritus, St. Nicholas Church

Joey Roger, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Peaceable Cities

Bonny Roth, Pastor of Pastoral Care, First United Methodist Church*

Pastor Daniel Ruen, Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church

Reverend Dr. Taurus Scurlock, Senior Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Reverend Tricia Teater, Director and Head Priest, Udumbara Zen Center, Evanston*

Steve Van Kuiken, Senior Minister, Lake Street Church of Evanston

Reverend Nancy Waite, Director and Chaplain, Spiritual Care and Music Therapy Department, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Minister Sherry Walker

Elder Clifford Wilson, Senior Pastor, Mount Pisgah Ministry, Inc.

Connie Wood, Grace Lutheran Church Prayer Ministry

*Faith Communities with an asterisk beside them have agreed to open their
houses of worship for persons to gather in prayer when the Grand Jury
decision is announced. Please call the house of worship for exact times.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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