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100316-We-Are-One

With other church leaders from around the Quad-Cities, the Rev. Rogers Kirk talks about the "We Are One Community: Peace Unity and Love" event Monday at Schwiebert Riverfront Park, Rock Island. The event is set for 4 p.m. Sunday at the Davenport RiverCenter.

In a show of unified force, the religious faiths of the Quad- Cities will join hands to face down violence locally and across the country.

An interfaith service, "We are One Community: Peace, Unity and Love" is planned for 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Davenport RiverCenter.

The event is organized by the Rev. Rogers Kirk of Third Missionary Baptist Church, Davenport, as a proactive way to build relationships and promote local peace efforts. A community is divided when there is violence, and violent responses to it, he said. 

"We are taking a proactive approach as people of faith to show unity, peace and love. And as people of faith we must lead the way to show we are all one," Kirk said during a news conference Monday at Schwiebert Riverfront Park, Rock Island.

Kirk was accompanied by a dozen supporters from the faith community, and a diverse group is organizing the "We Are One" event. 

The key is to build relationships, the Rev. Ralph Kelly of First Baptist Church, Davenport, said. "Even if you are in Rock Island or East Moline, your problems are our problems," he said. 

This is an effective way to identify and prevent hostilities, Kelly said, that can result in bickering and rampant gunfire.

The Rev. Robb McCoy of Two Rivers United Methodist Church in downtown Rock Island said building relationships shows what connects us as individuals, rather than what divides us.

McCoy, a music minister who hosts concerts in the area, said there will be live music at the event and participants are urged to sing along. It will be broad-based, popular music with songs that are well known and that emphasize the themes of love, peace and unity.

There is a lot of racial injustice to be addressed, made more difficult because of the climate that exists in America, the Rev. Christine Isham said.

Isham, of Edwards Congregational United Church of Christ, Davenport, said the divisions, which are also geographic in the Quad-Cities, can be bridged by the faith community. "We need to focus on what we have in common."

Anne Wachal, executive director of Churches United of the Quad-City Area, hopes the RiverCenter will be filled with supporters. "Take 90 minutes of your Sunday time for this," she said.

The faith community needs to take a role in promoting respect among people of the Quad-Cities, Wachal said, citing the teachings of Jesus Christ. "Treat others with respect. We don't have to always agree, but learn to disagree and still respect one another," she said.

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