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Churches to offer spaces of prayer, safety after Ferguson grand jury speaks

Churches to offer spaces of prayer, safety after Ferguson grand jury speaks

In the not-too-distant future, a grand jury in Missouri will announce whether it has indicted Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen in August.

Local residents are preparing for civil unrest, writes The New Republic, and a number of St. Louis area churches are offering their buildings to those who need a safe space in the wake of the announcement.

The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri is deeply involved in this effort, and recently published a list of churches that will be open for prayer after the grand jury’s announcement.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, whose rector, the Rev. Theresa Danieley, is featured in this report and video from KTVI in St. Louis, is among those churches:

When protests broke out after Vonderitt Myers Junior was killed last month in an alleged shootout with an off-duty St. Louis police officer, Rev. Teresa Danieley at St. John`s Episcopal Church joined them in the streets to pray, only to discover people also needed a place to get help, so at midnight she opened the church doors.

‘When I was on that corner, everybody that was there was my parishioner; police, protester, resident, and I wanted everybody to be safe,’ Rev. Danieley said.

And that experience is partly why, when St. John`s was approached by Metropolitan Congregations United to be designated a sanctuary for future protests, the pastor and the board said yes.


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