Gastonia unity prayer aims to start healing after mass shooting in Buffalo, New York

·2 min read
Robert Kellogg
Robert Kellogg

Gastonia City Councilman Robert Kellogg and local clergy believe recent crises seen in the news and critical local needs should be addressed through prayer.

The city councilman plans to host a community unity prayer with local clergy where prayer will be held over the nation's political leaders, local communities and those affected by the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.

A mass shooting took place Saturday, May 14 in Buffalo, New York, where an 18-year-old white male allegedly carried out a racially motivated attack at a supermarket where he killed 10 people and injured three people.

"We want to provide a safe space for our community to gather as we pray for those affected by the tragic events in Buffalo," said Kellogg.

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The "Unity Through The Community" event will take place at from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the indoor Greater Gaston Baptist Association,1607 Rankin Lake Road, Gastonia. The site of the event was moved indoors because of expected thunderstorms.

Kellogg says the event will encourage unity, love, hope, peace and understanding.

The prayer will include people from the local faith community and mental health professionals on-hand for anyone who may need individual guidance or engagement.

The presenters will have a diverse mix of people representing different cultures and religions within Gastonia.

"All people are welcome and nobody will be excluded," said Kellogg. "This is how we begin to bring unity through community."

Kellogg organized the event for Monday and feels passionately that the community must confront the barriers to unity head on and find ways to unite with each other.

"Our communities are hurting," said Kellogg. "The past couple years have brought one traumatic event after another and the recent news in Buffalo highlight the need for our community to work on ways to understand and value one another."

Our differences should not be a barrier to unity, but rather a bridge that units us in solidarity, Kellogg said.

Kellogg encourages local clergy, mental health professionals and community members to attend the event Monday.

Reach Janiya Winchester at 980-319-6819 or jwinchester@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Gastonia unity prayer aims to start healing after Buffalo shooting