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Alton B. Pollard III Joins Interfaith Community at Vigil for Victims of the New Zealand Mosque Shootings

by Chris Wooton | Mar 18, 2019

Alton and BabarOn Saturday, March 16, 2019, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary President Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III joined several of Louisville's community and faith leaders in Jefferson Square Park for a Vigil of Peace, Healing and Unity. The vigil, organized by Muslim Americans for Compassion, Interfaith Paths to Peace, and the Center for Interfaith Relations, was in response to shootings which took place in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the previous day.

For his part, Pollard offered the following prayer to the more than 200 attendees.

March 15, 2019
The Holy Day of Jummah, Christchurch, New Zealand

We are here in solidarity with our Muslim siblings; your agonies are ours, as we answer the call to prayer
Fresh from the world we come, filled with the ordinariness of our days, facing the challenges of life
Our hearts are heavy, our tears are full, our lives are weary, our spirits rage, our humanity is sore tested
We are incapable of fully expressing our feelings; our spirits groan, we do not know quite what to say

We gather in the name of the Creator and find sanctuary with one another
We offer our prayers for the far-flung needs of your people everywhere
We remember the lives lost, families shattered and communities forever changed
We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses
attesting to the urgent needs of our humanity

For the Masjid Al Noor
For the Linwood Mosque
For the Tree of Life Synagogue
For the Sikh Gurdwara at Oak Creek
For the Pulse Nightclub
For Stoneman Douglas High School
For Mother Emanuel AME Church
For the rising tide of homicide
For the murder of children, women and men
For the desecration of earth
The universe is dismayed
So great the loss of life
So much senseless death

For our houses of worship, schools, homes, work, play and public spaces
For all places made sacred by the very lives they contain, now violated and taken from us
by the hubris of arrogance, violence, terrorism, supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, extremism, unbridled power, jaundiced pride, bigotry, hatred and fear, and all manner of inhumanity before and since, and

In the midst of lives lost and fragmented through the daily hazards of this world
We the living struggle, to strive for goodness, to dare to love, to become agents of change
Our souls do hunger, thirst and search for the genuine in one another
We will not allow anything to keep us from you, O God
Lead us in the way everlasting…

Alton B. Pollard, III
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

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