JPUSA History — September 5, 2008 at 12:23 am

People’s Church Prayer Vigil / Memorial Service for Murder Victim

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Approximately thirty Uptown Community activists and citizens, spearheaded by Organization of the Northeast (ONE), gathered last night at the Unitarian/Universalist People’s Church in Uptown to grieve and pray together over the death of Tim Pittman, 19, a man shot and killed within half a block of the Church’s front doors. (See the Chicago Journal’s coverage of the shooting.)

I was gratified to be able to participate as a representative of Jesus People USA and as one individual living in Uptown. Most moving to me was the fact that sorrow rather than rage was the predominant theme of the prayers, along with an expressed determination among all of us to continue pursuing answers for this summer’s gang-related violence. (It is, as I understand it presently, unclear whether or not Tim died as the result of gang violence or for some other reason.) Praying for peace, being activists for peace, and finding new ways to reach out to those most afflicted by this violence.

For my own part, I asked that the Lord Jesus, who helps us understand how loving and suffering are intertwined, would also aid us in grieving with those who grieve and helping us as we try to find ways to heal our community of this violence.

Our prayers continue for the family and friends of Tim Pittman, as well as a second teen who was critically wounded and a possible third victim (not yet confirmed).

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