Gun violence, housing insecurity, racial disparities and discrimination are just some of the problems a new group of Lansing religious leaders is hoping to tackle with the help of the community.
On Wednesday, the Assembly of Lansing Pastors welcomed the families they serve and other stakeholders to talk about the issues that plague Capital City and try to work out some solutions.
One of the biggest issues coming to the forefront for many is gun violence.
Lansing resident Rosalind Reynolds says help from the religious community will go a long way.
“The gun violence has changed from back when I was a kid to where I don’t know how to reach the children. What we can do is keep praying and having these meetings where people keep bringing up different stuff and I know the Lord is going to help us," Reynolds said.
Pastor Melvin Jones of Union Missionary Baptist Church says he hopes connections will grow from Wednesday’s event.
“There is support, especially from the pastoral community for the issues that they are concerned with," Jones said. "We want to support the initiatives that some community groups already have in place that may not find an audience with the powers that be that they should."
Wednesday’s event focused on several areas of concern which include gun violence and prevention, participatory budgeting, racial disparity, discrimination, establishing a citizen’s police review board and housing inequity and insecurity.
Pastor Mark Williamson leads True light Missionary Baptist Church. He says the inaugural event is about hearing what the community has to say and there is strength in numbers.
“The community may get to know the pastors of Lansing and let them know that they are not alone," Williamson said.
Wednesday's community conversation is the first of a series of events like this the association plans to hold.
The group meets privately every Monday to discuss action plans.
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