People of many faiths have responded with faith to the crisis in Baltimore.
Jana Riess blogged for Religion News on Baltimore Mormons’ dedication of a fast for peace and safety in their city, following some criticism that the LDS had not responded enough to recent events:
Particularly encouraging: The Facebook post about the stake fast was shared over 3,000 times. People from all over the world, both Mormon and those of other faiths, pledged to fast for Baltimore. Reading those comments about people’s prayers and eagerness to help restored some of my faith in the goodness of the Mormon people – a faith that had taken a ding from reading some of the comments on this blog.
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld wrote in the Washington Post, “Why a bunch of rabbis went to Baltimore to protest – and pray”:
We arrived not knowing what to expect and, truthfully, had concerns about whether our presence would be welcomed.
On the contrary, though, we were welcomed, literally, with open arms. Our experience that day — six Jewish clergy in a predominantly African-American neighborhood — was one of warmth and welcoming.
The Baltimore we found was vastly different from the one we, and most Americans, have seen portrayed over the last few days in the national media. As we walked the streets with our prayer shawls on our shoulders and kippot on our heads, we were stopped and embraced by total strangers. Together, we prayed for solidarity and unity in a way that made me feel more alive than my prayers that same morning in my own synagogue.
They came away with newly formed friendships, a sense of common humanity – and common purpose:
It should be obvious, but the more we got to know people in West Baltimore, the more we realized how much we have in common with them. One man I met had once lived two blocks from my old address in Brooklyn, New York. I met another man who grew up in West Baltimore, but now lives less than a half mile from me in Washington, D.C.
And while my colleagues and I have no illusions that spending one day in West Baltimore will bring about dramatic change, we hope, and believe, that it’s a positive step. Now that charges have been brought and the city’s curfew has been lifted, there’s more work to be done.
Photo from Baltimore Stakes Facebook page.
Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett