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Several denominations continue to gather to heal community members impacted by bloody mass shooting

"Children's lives and people's lives are changed forever and healing is going to take time.”
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Posted at 11:11 PM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 23:11:51-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Hundreds of people from different denominations are gathered to continue to lift the community that has been scarred by White gunman who killed ten innocent Black people at the Tops store located in Jefferson Avenue – a predominantly Black underserved neighborhood.

Now it's taking so many community members like Pastor Steve Lane from St. Philips Episcopal Church and others to lift this part of the community of Buffalo.

"There were ten people that were shot. Their family and friends. They are mourning," Pastor Lane says. We can't be divided, the evil is here to separate us to tell us it's White against Black. This is against that and the message we're trying to say is that we're all together."

Others like Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, interim president of National Council of Churches, say healing doesn't occur right away.

"You gotta rip it off the band-aid, and you find that you got a wound that refuses to heal and so we have to be patient with ourselves and each other as we navigate through grief," Bishop McKenzie says.

And the hope is to have prayers to call others to stand side by side and uplift one another.

"Children being shot in churches to violence being perpetrated on Black people are all across this country for hundreds of years. It's not new, but it needs to stop," Pastor Steve Lane says.

Bishop McKenzie also adds on.

"White and Black must do the eternal work to get to a place where we really can love our neighbors as we love ourselves," she says. "So if I'm hating myself, I'm hating my neighbors, so part of that is learning how to love ourselves."