Throughout the year, the Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project holds prayer vigils on the streets to pray for peace. In addition, we have gathered quickly whenever there has been a loss of life to bring comfort and healing to families, friends and neighbors. See our recent Prayer Vigils below. For upcoming Prayer Vigils, visit our Upcoming Events page.
Continuing a long tradition of honoring Dr. King in our community, the Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project hosted a prayer vigil on Monday January 16 at the Wilkinsburg train station thanks to the cooperation of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation. The train station was chosen as the site for the prayer vigil because the efforts of the WCDC to renovate it represent hope and transformation for our community. Participants wrote names of people who died in violence in this last year in our community, nation and world and placed it on a Wall of Tears while ministers from several congregations prayed and read quotes from Dr. King. Among those participating were Mayor John Thompson, Rev. Janet Hellner-Burris of the Christian Church of Wilkinsburg, Rev. Pete Smith of the Covenant Fellowship Reformed Presbyterian Church, Rev. David DiDonato of the Bible Chapel Church, Rev. Tom Mitchel of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, Bishop Michael Golphin of Deliverance Baptist Church and Rev. Rita Platt of South Avenue United Methodist Church. In addition, Dr. William Banks of The Entertainment Consortium, which is offering a Saturday and afterschool arts program at The Christian Church of Wilkinsburg, sang, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” Members of the Jewish and Islamic community joined together in prayers for peace for our community, nation and world.
The Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project mobilized the day after the tragic March 2016 shooting of five persons to bring hope and healing to our community. A week afterwards, we walked the street and knocked on doors to pray with any neighbors who had a desire for prayer and offered resources for counseling. A month later we were invited, along with our Muslim brothers, to bless the site where the shooting took place. During these prayer vigils, we had many conversations with the courageous neighbors on that block which resulted in two community work days known as Operation Light on Franklin.
Read about the Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project's dedication of Franklin Avenue as a site of peace here.