The Unitary Society in Germonttown returns to the vigil of the Black Lives Matter | Local news
The Hermantown Unitary Society has pushed for action and will hold weekly vigils every Tuesday night, all with the same message as Underground: Black Lives Matter.
The first vigil took place on Tuesday, from 5pm to 6pm Community members lit candles and held signs near the church along the bustling Lincoln Drive on Mount Airy.
Worship is a response to the rise of violence against white supremacists in the United States following the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, where 10 black people were killed by self-proclaimed white supremacists.
The church also marked the two-year anniversary of the assassination of George Floyd by Minneapolis officer Derek Shaven.
Maria Kalina, coordinator of the Black Lives Matter vigil on Tuesday night, said the church wants to provide space and provide a way out for those in mourning.
“Even just encourage someone that he is not alone in his feelings and that there are other people who feel it,” Kalina said.
Kalina stressed that it is important to gather in the community after the tragedy.
“It’s a way for people to come together to express collective grief, grief and anger that it’s happening and then nothing’s happening,” Kalina said. “It’s a 24-hour cycle of news, ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and then we move on to the next.”
The Unitary Society first began holding weekly Black Lives Matter vigils after the assassination of George Floyd in 2020. Most recently, weekly vigils of Ukrainian solidarity were held in the church every Friday. Now the BLM vigil is back, and will linger for a while.
Vanessa Lowe is a member of the Unitary Society and organizer of POWER, the largest interfaith social justice organization in Pennsylvania.
Lowe will participate in the vigils. She said she appreciates the ability to grieve collectively rather than just handle current news alone.
“When we hear these stories, it’s staggering, and it’s hard. And I myself, watching on the Internet or watching TV, is just a shock, ”Lowe said. “You need a community to get together, cry, just fold your head and be together.”
“There is so much pain in the world, and a lot of it has to do with relationships and the way we see each other or don’t see each other. Therefore, it is very important to unite as people when such things happen, ”Lowe added.
Lowe said she still hopes “the moral arc of the universe will be bent toward justice” by listening to a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
She said she looks forward to expanding the multi-faith organization in the Philly region, where different religions can come together based on their commonalities; belief in the innate value of every being and the desire for a “healthy, happy world”.
Originally this story appeared on WYY.org.