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Students host Charlottesville Town Hall Meeting and Prayer Vigil

Ian Tan
Student Writer

Provost for Diversity Affairs Todd Allen speaks to students at a Charlottesville Town Hall and prayer vigil on Wednesday, September 13 in Kline 120.

The tragedy that occurred this past August in Charlottesville, Virginia left the rest of the United States in a fresh state of horror, scarring the nation yet again. On Wednesday, September 13, student organizations collaborated to host a Charlottesville Town Hall Meeting and Prayer Vigil in order to pray and grieve for Charlottesville.

The night featured Todd Allen, provost for Diversity Affairs, who spoke during the Town Hall section of the event.

“We do not grieve as though we have no hope,” Allen said. ”We do have hope but in the strength of our savior, not in ourselves.

Allen presented a photo of Charlottesville clergymen standing together in counter-protest against the “Unite the Right” rally. However, Allen explained that it doesn’t mean God’s people are to fight the protesters specifically as their enemy, but instead the wickedness and superior complex they are exhibiting.

Allen also added, “Lament allows for suffering to speak and to contribute to the story. We need to go through lament to understand what it is.” He encouraged the event’s attendees to be present for each other as well as others who are suffering.

Following the Town Hall meeting, a panel and a few audience members expressed their thoughts on the recent event.

“It is about all of us entwined together,” Student Prayer Chaplain Isabelle Gonzalez said. “Christians pursuing justice, that’s what we should be doing.”

Student Body President Jamie-Claire Chau also urged the audience to utilize their privilege as students to educate their peers, be educated themselves and be aware of injustice.

The night ended with the panel leading everyone on a prayer walk across campus.

Minds Matter Education Leader Libby Sawyer said, “I live in Charlottesville. It was not ‘both sides,’ these people came to hurt others, to hate and kill. We are going to subvert hate. We are going to walk in declaration of victory, peace and justice.”

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  1. Thank you both for your input. It’s good to be reminded to be aware of the facts and to pray for those who persecute. Yes, there was a scrimmage in Emancipation Park where the protesters and counter protestors clashed violently and brutally – perhaps that is what your comments were referring to? Certainly in that regards, both sides should be held responsible. Blessings.

  2. Are you kidding me??? It certainly was BOTH sides!! ANTIFA is just as horrible and reprehensible as the KKK. As a Messiah Supporting Alumn, it is very disappointing to see the Snowflake mentality at Messiah. I have a kid attending there, and pray that this ridiculous attitude and complete ignorance of the facts is not the predominant thought being perpetuated by the school. Oh, and by the way, I was a minority there as well!

    • Your language and tone are not helpful. These kids are trying to process in a positive and peaceful way. I, too attended Messiah and I am thankful to see open mindedness and empathy for those who are mistreated….even if we differ in opinions. Harsh words stir up anger. But a gentle answer turns away wrath. I read that somewhere….

    • Why does this upset you? I get the impression that you weren’t at the event. It was a prayer vigil for Charlottesville grieving for loss and violence. Since when has praying to God for peace and reconciliation become “snowflake mentality”? I am asking out of genuine curiosity. I don’t think anyone was supporting Antifa at the vigil and this piece doesn’t even indicate that. Please explain why you are so angry.

  3. A sensible conservative

    Perhaps you should consider doing the Christlike thing and praying for you enemies as well, not only those who agree with you.
    There is senseless violence and division caused by both sides. Pray without ceasing, for everyone, no matter their affiliation. Love your enemies. Pray for them that persecute you.

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