Steelton church holds interfaith prayer service

STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) – It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, Jewish, or gay, all are welcome at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing because we need to have more unity in our communities so people can see, hey, we can be of different faiths and still come together for one purpose,” said Jennifer Harmon-Norfleet, a member of Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church.

The church planned the service after bomb threats were made against Jewish community centers in York and Harrisburg early last week.

“We are here for the Jewish brothers and sisters and we are saying that we are all in this together, and if you attack one of us, you have to deal with all of us,” said Aaysha Noor, a member of the Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg.

But organizers said the service is also in response to the rising number of assaults and threats against people based on their religion, race, sexual orientation, and other differences. These acts of hatred are not dividing them, rather bringing them together.

“We may call God by different names, but we are all following a path that leads us to the same place,” said Rev. Victoria Larson, pastor of the church.

Coming together in prayer, song, and dance to transform hate into love.

“Love is a very powerful word. It’s not a noun, it’s actually an action. God gives us action, so we have to give our actions to others by not just saying it but actually believing it and doing it,” said Nyeema Roberson of Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church.

Most importantly, saying hate will not go unanswered.

“I would hope that people who leave here and people who hear about it are reminded that they are the answer to the hate. You are the answer and you are needed,” said Rabbi Carl Choper, president of the Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania.

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