by Beatrice Mondare // Part of the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions
2-3pm Gathered in Messiah Parking lot, 3-4pm Prayer walk
Rev. Julie Haspel welcomed the multi-faith participants and led opening prayer. We followed police escort as we walked up Ramapo Valley Road singing “We Shall Overcome” with guitarist Brian Salvatore leading us. Brian is youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church. We stopped for prayer at first aid squad building, police headquarters, Valley Middle School, the Municipal building and Veterans Park.
Reflecting the many faith communities in Oakland, the leaders of prayer were. Rev. Julie Haspel of Messiah Lutheran, Rev. Kathryn King of St. Alban’s Episcopal, Russ Stammer, pastor of Ramapo Valley Baptist, Rev. Nathan Busker of Ponds Reformed, Fr. Thomas Lipnicki of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic and Sarabjit Singh of the Guru Nanak Mission,a Sikh community. As Nathan Busker said, our Jewish brothers and sisters were eager to participate and want to join us in the future but they are preparing for Sukkot today.
The highlight of the event came in Veterans park when all participants recited together the Pledge of Nonviolence and ended by singing the “We Shall Live in Peace” verse of “We Shall Overcome.”
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