Saturday Rally in Richmond

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City Church Family, 

As you may know, a group from Tennessee has planned a rally to protect the Lee Monument on Saturday. Various other counter protests are also planned. In light of the volatile and violent events in Charlottesville last month both law enforcement and private groups have been planning responses. Given City Church’s location at the epicenter of these events, we have been discussing what our response should be.

The Basics: The New Confederate States of America has planned a rally in Richmond

The Richmond Police Department (RPD) has been clear in their intentions to strongly enforce the law, giving the impression that they will act proactively to keep the rally from getting out of hand or turning violent. RPD will use part of the Grace Covenant parking lot as a staging ground and location for their Mobile Response Unit. RPD, VCU, and elected officials are asking those who can avoid the area on Saturday to do so. Out of a desire to honor these authorities, we encourage you to avoid the area if you can. We expect that the area will be ‘back to normal’ by Sunday afternoon for worship, but if not we will communicate to all via email, the website, and social media. 

We recognize that there is no single faith-full response to these events. We encourage all of you to pray for peace and safety and to ask the Spirit to guide you in your specific response. Because we realize that some may feel implicated to be present on Saturday, a group of congregations near Stuart Circle has united to offer an open time of peaceful prayer and worship on Saturday between 9am and 4pm. This prayer will take place in Grace Covenant’s sanctuary. City Church will provide leadership of that prayer time from 1pm to 2pm. An RPD officer has been assigned to the Grace Covenant entrance—namely, the side door near the playground.

Several alternative events are planned offsite on Saturday. You may find these to be useful ways to be involved:

Stand United for Racial Justice Rally and March
8:45am to 11am at Maggie Walker's Statue (Broad and Adams Streets)

"Building a Just Richmond" Teach-in
1pm to 4:30pm at Huguenot High School (7945 Forest Hill Avenue)

We ask that all of you would join with together to pray that peace would prevail in Richmond and that we as a church could help shine the light of the gospel into the dark shadows of our city’s past and the fractious realities of its present. 

By God’s grace and peace,

Erik

"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." (Jeremiah 29:7)

"Put no trust in the earth
In the sod you stand upon
Flowers fade into dust,
The Lord will make a place for us

Because of His great love, 
We are not overcome
Because of His great love, 
We are not overcome

Have no fear for your life;
Turn your cheek, turn your cheek
Bear the yolk of love and death; 
The lord will give life and breath

Because of His great love, 
We are not overcome
Because of His great love, 
We are not overcome"

(We Are Not Overcome, by Wardell and Haskell)