2017-07-13 / Other News

Clergy Council Prays For Peace

By M. Skye Holly

The 69th Precinct Clergy Council gathered at the corner of Flatlands Avenue and East 80th Street on Monday night to offer prayers for Canarsie following the attempted gunpoint robbery of an 18-year-old on June 24th. The Clergy Council, joined by Councilman Alan Maisel and State Senator Roxanne Persaud, prayed for an end to gun violence in the community and for improved quality of life for residents.

Clergy Council President Rev. Cecil Moonsam addressed pedestrians and residents who watched from their windows, saying, “We’re going to pray for peace in our community, that God will just keep us in peace,” he said. Some community members stood at the corner in support, while others parked their cars and rolled down their windows to listen. Others waved their hands in support from across the street.

Moonsam and council members took turns leading prayers for the community, police officers and elected officials. Crime Prevention Officer Dennis Johnson prayed for EMT and local firefighters. Prayers for the President, the state of New York and the nation were offered, as well as for neighborhood youth, which was spoken in both Haitian-Creole and Spanish.

Persaud urged the community to hold each other accountable and to warn anyone they know who may be involved in any violent or criminal activities.

“We’re here because we care about our community. We are here to tell everyone violence is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it,” she said.

Maisel agreed, adding, “We’ve been doing this three years already and I know we’re having an impact,” referring to the vigils. He reminded those in attendance that Canarsiens all want the same thing - “a place of peace and contentment.”

“Let’s love each other,” Moonsam said. “Let’s love our police officers. Let’s love our officials. Let’s love our youth. They must be free to walk the streets and walk around, not thinking someone is out to get them.”

The vigil’s final prayer was for families and for family life in Canarsie. The evening closed with community and clergy members singing the chorus of the gospel song “Every Praise.”

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