Local News Archive
Print Issue: November 6, 1980
Children's Deaths Prompt Reconciliation Services
In a response to a call by the Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, about twenty-five Atlanta religious leaders have met at Central United Methodist Church in a series of meetings over the past two weeks.
Concerned about the recent murders and disappearances involving fifteen black children, the group issued a statement, noting how these tragedies underscore growing tensions and forces that are undermining the quality of life in the community as a whole.
Although the immediate situation of crimes against children brought this group of clergy and religious leaders together, the statement said, our coming together has emphasized for us the need of an on-going interfaith association within the religious community whose members will work for a better quality of life in the Atlanta area.
As a result of our meetings, steps have been taken to form such a continuing interfaith organization, it said.
The statement, whose co-signers included Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, announced Wednesdays Day of Reconciliation in Atlanta, calling upon residents to express their concern for those who suffer directly from the tragedies and for the unity of our city in addressing basic social needs.
The day was to center around an interfaith service at the amphitheater in Central City Park at noon to express our sorrow for the suffering of our fellow citizens, to make intercession for a speedy end to these crimes and to recommit ourselves to the well being of all our citizens.
All citizens were to observe a minute of silent prayer at noon in respect for the dead and missing children, in concern for the justice and peace of the city, and as a statement against all violence.
All Atlanta area churches that have bells were to ring them at noon as a symbol of their congregationsconcern for all people.
MARTA was asked to halt all buses for one minute in cooperation with the citywide gesture.