Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tribune: Roseland churches vow to take to streets to fight violence

This is the obligatory what's going on in the 9th Ward/Roseland post. A lot of people's hearts were aflutter with the idea of some neighborhoods of the 6th Ward being drawn into the 9th Ward. It's time to show what the people of Roseland is up to and here's one example (hat-tip YoChicago):
Services at more than 50 Roseland churches ended with a prayer vigil against violence Sunday, and local ministers have pledged their flocks will take to the streets each weekend this summer to quell violence on the South Side.

The congregation of Mount Calvary Baptist Church sang "I Am on the Battlefield for My Lord" after services Sunday afternoon, and church members may soon be putting themselves in harm's way, said the Rev. Phillip Cusic. On Thursday night alone, Cusic said, a half-dozen shooting victims arrived at Roseland Community Hospital, where Cusic is chaplain.

The hospital has helped form Arms Around Roseland, a coalition of 56 churches and community groups that will walk neighborhood streets from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. each week until October, Cusic said. Participants also will distribute anti-violence literature, fliers and other information and act as human shields during the warm-weather months that tend to be the city's most violent.

"People have unrealistic fear of violence on the street," Cusic said Sunday. "When people are out in the streets, when their pastors are out, they don't shoot. They stand down. We want to give them a peaceful way to stand down."

Cusic said the hospital has been working with community groups and churches for months and had planned to roll out Arms Around Roseland later this year, when the weather grows warmer and violence in the city traditionally increases.
I sincerely hope this volunteer effort succeeds!

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