With quick planning, a dedicated team, and supportive leadership, the Greater New York Conference organized a Prayer March for Justice and Peace that took place on Sunday, June 7. Some 400 individuals walked 1.6 miles from Ebenezer church in Brooklyn, New York, to Wingate Park, to show solidarity with the black community and pray for peace in response to the national outcry over social injustices.
Henry Beras, GNYC president, established the committee, which was chaired by Ariel Manzueta, GNYC Youth Ministries director, and included youth leaders and young adults who organized the event. “It did not take much to get the young adults and adults to come out and support the effort,” said Manzueta. “People were eager to voice their concern and collectively pray about it.”
Twelve police officers from the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn, escorted the marchers, and seven police cruisers cleared the road of traffic allowing everyone to have a peaceful walk. Those participating in the peaceful protest represented numerous colors, nationalities, and ethnicities.
After inspiring messages by GNYC pastors Dedrick Blue and Kenneth Stout, prayers were presented in English, French, Korean, and Spanish. Conference administrators and participants also raised hands of blessing over the police officers who escorted the marchers and offered a special prayer on their behalf.
“Everyone was pleased, and it was really a joy to see the march,” Manzueta said. “What we planned in about 48 hours became a reality, because God blessed our efforts.”
—Youth Ministries department, Greater New York Conference