Richmonders to line up for an interfaith prayer chain on Saturday

Posted at 7:04 AM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-16 15:01:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Using prayer as a tool for change. Richmond Urban Ministry Institute (RUMI) on Chamberlayne Avenue is inviting everyone to line up to pray for the city starting at 9:30 Saturday morning.

RUMI Director Gregory Day said the event was sparked following the tragic death of 12-year-old Amiya Moses.

Moses was senselessly shot and killed on the city’s Northside in December 2015. The community said they couldn’t sit by and do nothing.

In response to the violence, hundreds of people lined up one weekend morning in 2016 and linked arms to pray. The line stretched about two miles.

Day said it’s no secret that Metro Richmond is, once again, grieving after several homicides and shootings. Children and teenagers have been reported as some of the victims in these latest crimes.

“The big thing is what do we do after the prayer chain? We don’t need to stop. We don’t need to cease,” Day stated. “Because what happens is we pick another corner to pray at a week from now.”

Day said people of all faiths are invited to join. There will also be a cookout and fellowship following the prayer chain at Pollard Park.

“We have ministers that will be here. We will have a prayer tent up once the prayer chain is over it. It’s just the power of prayer because we know God is going to answer,” Day explained.

Organizations across the world will host prayer chains at the exact same time in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even Africa.

Reimagining “Chamberbrook” 

RUMI is located at the focal point of an ongoing revitalization project on the city’s Northside.

Since 2018, there has been a reimagining of the Chamberlayne and Brookland Park corridor as “Chamberbrook.”

Developers are aiming to develop the neighborhood as a premier community of Northside RVA.

“Chamberbrook Business & Arts District is a grassroots effort by longtime Richmond residents, community organizers, and designers,” according to the project’s website. “We’ve engaged international entrepreneurs, artists, business owners, and any and all neighbors in conversations about how to build our community.”

Organizers said their community already has a rich and beautiful history, but the perception now is that it is less of a place to live, work and play.

Nick Cooper serves as a leader at Hanbury in Richmond’s local office. He credited much of the ongoing work to Aisha Bullard, an advocate in this area.

Bullard has said that this is no longer a “forgotten space.”

“We believe in a neighborhood that’s going to bring people together,” Cooper explained. “Elevates voices that might not already be elevated. Brings other cultures together and creates entrepreneurs that go on to influence the world. It’s a place that’s truly inclusive for all.”

Cooper and Chamberbrook organizers will present renderings and mock-ups for residents to view following the prayer chain in Pollard Park on Saturday morning.


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