In response to events last week in Charlottesville, VA, an interfaith gathering is being planned in Wilton to demonstrate unity and show that the community is no place for hate. Called Standing Together, Standing Strong: An Interfaith Gathering, the event is being held on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at the Our Lady of Fatima Church (OLF) Courtyard (229 Danbury Rd.) from 7-7:45 p.m., with refreshments to follow.
The gathering is being organized by Rabbi Rachel Bearman of Temple B’nai Chaim, OLF’s Father Reggie Norman, Rev. Shannon White of the Wilton Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Alon White of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. The clergy will offer shared prayers, and Wilton’s first selectman Lynne Vanderslice will speak and read the town’s Civility Proclamation.
Vanderslice was admirably direct in her reason for taking part.
“There is no place for Nazis in society. Millions, including Americans, lost their lives to rid the world of nazism. I am disgusted by the President’s response to Charlottesville. History has taught us that good people need to stand up and speak out. I thank the Wilton clergy for providing the opportunity,” she says.
Wilton residents and members of the community are invited to attend and participate. Attendees will light candles and, according to organizers, will be able to symbolically reclaim the Tiki torches used by white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville. Participants also will be given the opportunity to donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center; the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); or Catholic Charities as a concrete action.
Additional clergy members who participate include officiants from the American Institute for Islamic and Arabic Studies, the Wilton Congregational Church, and others.