An overflowing crowd prayed for peace and reconciliation at Charlotte’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday night.
The gathering at Providence Baptist Church on Randolph Road came two months after the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte and the street protests that followed.
MeckMin, which organized the service, hoped the gathering would show unity among different faiths in support of peace building. The nonprofit organization includes nearly 100 member congregations representing more than a dozen faith traditions.
Speakers included 2014-15 N.C. Teacher of the Year James Ford; Toussaint Romain, a Mecklenburg County public defender and a voice for peaceful protest during Charlotte’s September demonstrations; and Rose Hamid, a Muslim mother who has long advocated for reconciliation.
Interfaith adult and children’s choirs and an interfaith orchestra performed. Teenagers led congregational readings.
This year’s theme was inspired by the familiar anthem that closes each gathering: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
“It’s time for change, and let that change begin with me,” said the Rev. Rodney Sadler of the MeckMin board of directors. “Let peace, let justice, let equality, let a better world, let it begin with me.”