PIQUA — A gathering of over 10 local faith communities, as well as other community leaders and members, will be coming together this Sunday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the public square in front of the Piqua Public Library, 116 W. High St.
Created as a response to recent tragedies, Piqua United! will be bringing the local community together to promote peace, love, and kindness. Explaining the impetus for this event, Mayor Kazy Hinds said she gathered the Rev.Todd Allen from Westminster Presbyterian Church, Steve Shuchat who serves as the president of Temple Anshe Emeth, and Pastors John and Stacey Scott from True Vine Church to pray and talk about what an event for unity might look like for the community following the mass shootings at the Tree of Life Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa. — while Shabbat morning services were being held in October 2018 —and later at the Oregon District in Dayton in August.
“Even in the midst of those tragedies, there is hope,” Hinds said.
Pastors John and Stacey Scott from True Vine Church said they got involved after Hinds reached out to them, recognizing that their church helps bring people together and break down barriers. John Scott said they are trying to help “everybody to see how everybody is human” and how everybody deserves to be “loved, honored, and respected.”
This event will include offerings of music and readings centered around bringing the city of Piqua together in unity. Hinds said they are trying to bring different voices together to highlight peace, love, and kindess, as well as what it means to be kind in a community. Hinds said there will be a number of community members reading writings from Martin Luther King, Jr. while he was in the Birmingham Jail, Congressman William McCulloch, Mr. Rogers, and more. True Vine Church will also be handling some of the music of the event.
“Another two high school students have written some things they’re going to read,” Hinds said.
Hinds said they will also be encouraging attendees to take a unity pledge at the end of the evening.
“The whole evening is going to end with a pledge we have written,” Hinds said. “We will all pledge this unity pledge together.”
Stacey Scott also made a unity candle, which they will light after taking the unity pledge. The candle, along with the pledge, will then be put on display throughout the community, traveling to school to school, to the library, to the post office, and to other visible places in the community. Hinds said the goal of this traveling display is for it to serve as “a reminder of this pledge and what it means to live as one in a community where we are all very different.”
Hinds said they want to focus on “building one another up.”
“It’s a time to come together,” Hinds said. “Our world and our country is very fractured right now.”
There will be seating available at the event, but attendees are also welcome to bring their own chairs to assure they have a seat.
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