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12/23/2012 11:37:00 AM
A Letter to the Community From Concerned Clergy

A Letter to the Community
The Concerned Clergy of Evanston, Illinois

December 21, 2012


Dear Sisters and Brothers of Evanston,Illinois, 

In this season of holiday observances, we, the leaders of variousEvanstonfaith communities, send a message of hope and peace. We take seriously the yearning of the human spirit for liberty, hope, civility, wellness and peace! However, we are deeply saddened by the acts of violence that have taken the lives of children, youth, and young adults from Evanston to Chicago to Sandy Hook and around the nation. For the loss of any life diminishes us all! 

We are aware of various efforts to eliminate violence throughout our community; and we stand with and support the individuals, organizations, and institutions who are working tirelessly for peace on our streets and in our neighborhoods. In word and deed, we commit ourselves further toward building better communities of peace and collaboration. 

We wrap our arms around all persons regardless of status, wealth, education, ethnicity and the like. Within our various houses of worship, we extend to everyone access to pastoral care, prayer, charity, forgiveness, confidentiality, reconciliation, healing and restoration to name a few. 

We believe in the power of prayer. It is a power that can unite, strengthen and transform each of us.  Hence, we call upon all faith communities and all citizens to join us in both daily prayer and public action for the greater good! 

Scriptures admonishes us to “learn war no more” (Isaiah 2:5) and the Negro Spiritual implores us to “study war no more”. Indeed, we are committed to creating a more peaceful and civil society absent of violence. Our community deserves no less! 

On behalf of the Concerned Clergy of Evanston, Illinois, we remain, 

Yours truly, 

Reverend Mark A. Dennis, Jr.,
Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church 

Father Robert H. Oldershaw
Pastor Emeritus, St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 


Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Article comment by: Maureen O'Brien

Amen. We are all born equal as far as the Creator is concerned, each given very special talents and very special circumstances. High born or low born these are the circumstances which allow us to learn about God's Unconditional Love . Wealth and privilege has as many challenges to learn this message as does poverty and struggle. Only when dialogue is open and frequent do we discover we all need and want the same thing, acceptance, recognition, and God's unconditional, comforting, joy- filling Love. I am who I am because of my struggles and how I have processed them. They give me the ability to empathize, see our similarities, see how we all need each other regardless of station in life. Knowledge of each other, looking past our own needs, and recognizing the needs of others would end the violence.

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