A group of Georgia churches are holding an event in response to the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the overall state of division in the United States.
First Baptist Church of Rincon, Jerusalem Lutheran Church of Rincon, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Rincon are organizing the "Love One Another" worship service and candlelight vigil, scheduled to take place next Thursday at FBC Rincon.
FBC Rincon Senior Pastor Gary Lewis told The Christian Post in an interview Friday that the event came "in response to a group of men who initiated the conversation" and that they have "invited many" from the surrounding area.
"We have a Lutheran Church, an A.M.E church, and an Episcopalian church who are all uniting with our Baptist church for this effort," said Lewis.
"I hope people walk away from this event moving from the perspective we seem to have presented to us all the time of rift to a new angle of renewal and reconciliation and a re-commitment to serve and love one another."
On Aug. 12, a so-called "Unite the Right" rally protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park was organized by Jason Kessler and attended by white supremacists, members of the KKK and white nationalist socialist groups. It descended into violence when counter protesters and white nationalists — many on both sides armed with helmets, weapons and shields — began fighting. Later that day, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., identified as a Nazi-sympathizer, rammed his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 others.
The Georgia churches' "Love One Another" event is not the only faith-based response to Charlottesville and other violent incidents.
A Virginia-based organization called the Charlottesville Clergy Collective was recently formed with the expressed goal of being "a God-centered faith community of prayer, solidarity, and impact within the Charlottesville-Albemarle Region of Central Virginia."
"Our mission is to establish, develop, and promote racial unity within the faith leadership of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Region through fellowship, collaborative partnership, and relationship-building," the CCC satates on their website.