Call to Prayer in Aurora
City prays for justice, reconciliation and healing
By Al Benson, Observer Contributor
June 18, 2020
AURORA—Father Jerome Leake offered opening prayers before more than 200 people at “A Call to Prayer for Social Justice, Reconciliation and Healing” in Aurora June 14.
 
The 90-minute service was held outdoors at St. John AME Church Cathedral of Grace. Speakers represented Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith communities from Aurora and Naperville. 
 
Attendees wore face masks and sat in lawn chairs spaced for social distancing. Special music was provided by soloists, a keyboard player and saxophone artist.
 
In his statement of purpose, keynote speaker Rev. Jesse Hawkins, St. John AME pastor, chronicled 300 years of discrimination against black people. Other speakers included Rev. John Bell, pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora, who gave a prayer of repentance and confession. 
 
Father Leake, Aurora Police Department chaplain and retired pastor of St. Joseph Parish, opened the service with a prayer of invocation.
 
The ecumenical event was co-sponsored by Fox Valley Christian Ministerial Alliance, Wesley United Methodist Church, Progressive Baptist Church, New England Congregational Church, Temple B’nai Israel and St. John AME, all Aurora congregations.
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