The 69th Precinct Clergy Council held a Prayer Vigil on Monday night at the corner of Rockaway Parkway and Seaview Avenue. The vigils are held on a monthly basis, at busy areas where crime is high. Due to the cold winter months, this is the first vigil the Clergy Council has hosted since November 2021, but there was no shortage of powerful prayers for the Canarsie community.
After songs of praise and an opening prayer by Clergy Council President Rev. Cecil Moonsam, members of the clergy prayed for specific needs, including President Biden and Vice President Harris, blessings for our Nation and a call for an end to the terrible war in Ukraine, that no more lives would be lost.
For local needs, members of the Clergy Council prayed for peace in every area of Canarsie, and for an end to the rampant violence that is plaguing our streets and robbing our youth from reaching their full potential, believing that the power of God is merciful and capable of all things.
There were prayers to comfort the families who have lost loved ones to violence, most recently the 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by stray bullets while innocently sitting in a car with family members on an East Flatbush street. Others offered up prayers for the businesses of Canarsie, that they will have good success and be prosperous, and for the protection of members of the 69th Precinct, as they put themselves in harm’s way to protect the community.
Commanding officer, Captain Khandakar Abdullah, said that we all have one thing that unites us – hope for a better future. He said how much he appreciated the Clergy Council and how they were always there to pray with the precinct during tough times. “We are working hard to eradicate violence and improve quality of life. We are doing everything we can and will continue to do so,” he told residents who stopped by the vigil.
Jennifer Viechweg-Horsford, constituent liaison for State Senator Roxanne Persaud, gave an update on behalf of the senator, stating how necessary it is to reach the community, to let them know we care. She praised the Clergy Council for the work they do. “They were out in the community before, during and after the pandemic and with the surge of violence,” she said. “I have to ask, ‘What would this community be like without a clergy council?’”
Local rapper Shammah, who works with youth, said, “We all want guns off the street, but the truth of the matter is that guns themselves don’t kill; people kill people. We have a heart issue we are dealing with – only Jesus can deal with the issues of the human heart.” With that, he sang a powerful song entitled “The King of Glory.”
“Put down the guns and pick up the true weapon – the Word of God,” Shammah concluded.