Christ Our Redeemer AME (COR) Church in Irvine hosted the “Tied Together” community forum on July in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police officers in Dallas, TX. The event featured an hour of collaboration and community standing against division, hate, and injustice.
Pastors Mark Whitlock of COR and Jason Aguilar of The Cloud Church joined with Irvine pastors and leaders to voice their love for the city, law enforcement, and neighbors. A “thread ceremony” was conducted to symbolize the tying together of city officials, police officers, and people of different ethnicities, beliefs, and cultures to represent the solidarity and unity of the community.
“This thread will serve as a reminder that we are not alone and that we stand together against racism, intolerance, and division. The organizers call on all church and community leaders to stand at the initiation of this movement,” said Pastor Whitlock.
“We stand with those who stand against hate. We stand with those who demand equality. Any group that incites fear and endorses hate must be met with verbal and physical resistance from all city leadership,” he declared.
Whitlock also condemned the July 17 shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He emphasized that violent actions, whether by police officers or against police officers, is not justifiable and acceptable.
“I pray that the violence does not escalate. Let America pray for peace. There are more guns in America than people! Let the prayers of the many outweigh the wicked, violent behavior of a few,” said Whitlock.