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This past Sunday, March 17th, a group of about 90+ people gathered at Church of the Ascension to pray together in response to the horrific events that unfolded in Christchurch New Zealand a few days earlier.

Word went out only about 24 hours before, but the response was amazing.  Along with some parishioners from Ascension, other church communities attended, as did some of our local Muslim brothers and sisters.

Dr. Rasheed, from the Muslim community in Oshawa, spoke from the heart sharing a message of peace, forgiveness and love between neighbours.  Local resident Raami Tabesh also shared his thanks and appreciation for the community coming together to care.

From the local church communities The Rev. Don Wilmer and The Rev. Elaine Hall from Port Perry United, Stephanie Richmond, student minister from Greenbank United and The Rev. Ruthanne Ward from Ascension, Anglican participated in offering prayers and a call for all of us to walk the ways of love and peace that God calls us to.

There was a genuine warmth in the room as people greeted one another, meeting neighbours for the first time.

Thank you to everyone who came and offered their hearts and their prayers to that time.

Photograph courtesy of Claudia Sytsma, The Standard