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Letter: Monthly prayer vigil at Waynesboro YMCA to promote racial equality

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By Clyde D. Brown and Paul H. Pingel

The shameful intersection of racism and anti-Semitism represented by the defacement of the mural at the Waynesboro YMCA needs a community response.

Our group, the Christian Coalition for Equity and Justice (CCE&J), will hold our monthly prayer vigil in the mural area at the YMCA at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21. On this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, we invite all who have an interest in seeking God’s help to guide us to racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation, equity and justice to join and peacefully pray with us next weekend.

For nearly three years, the CCE&J, a multi-racial group composed of members of the predominantly Black Christ Tabernacle Church of God in Christ and predominantly white Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, both in Waynesboro, has met weekly for discussions and fellowship.  We have also conducted a public monthly prayer vigil on the third Saturday for the past two years.

Our overarching goal as a group is, with God’s help, to promote racial equity, justice and reconciliation within our lives and our community.  The recent defacement of the YMCA has had a deep impact on the members of our group, a frustration we believe is shared by the majority of our community.

Bishop Clyde D. Brown represents the Christ Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. Pastor Paul H. Pingel represents Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.