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NEW LIFE COVENANT REMEMBERS LOVED ONES WITH PRAYER ON THE 9

5/24/2017, noon | Updated on 5/24/2017, noon
The goal is to never forget the faces of the people who have lost their lives due to the senseless ...
Senior Pastor John F. Hannah and the New Life Covenant Southeast Church is forming a call-to-action and inviting Chicago leaders, churches, organizations and community residents to help combat social issues and violence during their annual Prayer On The 9 demonstration. The date has yet to be released but thousands of people are expected to participate including Dunbar High School Marching Band. Photo by Christopher Shuttlesworth

NEW LIFE COVENANT REMEMBERS LOVED ONES WITH PRAYER ON THE 9

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

Senior Pastor John F. Hannah and the New Life Covenant Southeast Church is planning a call-to-action and is inviting the entire Chicago community to come together during their annual Prayer On The 9 initiative, which is a community outreach that continues to tackle social issues and senseless gun violence in Chicago.

While the day of this year’s Prayer On The 9 is yet to be announced, “thousands of Chicagoans gathered during 2016 to the pray for the communities most affected by violence,” according to a New Life Covenant press release.

In 2016, Hannah said he asked community residents to wear the color red and bring pictures of loved ones or of someone they knew who lost their lives due to the senseless gun violence in the city of Chicago, and he says the 2017 Prayer On The 9 will hold similar sentiments.

“The goal is to never forget the faces of the people who have lost their lives due to the senseless violence in the city of Chicago,” Hannah said. “We must keep the faces alive.”According to a New Life Covenant press release, the most dramatic portion of the movement is called, “The Step-Out,” which will signal participants to step out into the street and lie down on the pavement with photos of their loved ones, which will illustrate the victims’ bodies that were taken away due to violence in Chicago.

Hannah also added that some of the new pieces being implemented to the Prayer On The 9, is the involvement of Dunbar High School’s marching band and New Life Covenant partnerships with local organizations.

“After we have walked and prayed for our community, we literally want to shift from a grievance to a celebration to get those who lost someone to celebrate the time they had during the victim’s lives,” he said. “So, the marching band will go [from the Dan Ryan] back to 79th Greenwood.”

The three organizations that New Life Covenant Southeast Church will help fund to service the needs of the community include: “Breaking Bread, which services meals once a week to gang members and counseling, Greater Grand Crossing Park Neighborhood Network, which will host a summer block party every month to create a safe haven for youth to play and Antonio’s Response, an organization that provides intervention for individuals who have been affected by violence,” according to a New Life Covenant press release.

“We’ve partnered with some organizations that continue to do work in our community throughout the year,” Hannah said. “We’re going to be one of their sponsors for a full year. We’re going to send them funds once a month to make sure we’re helping them stay true to their assignment and to their mission in the Grand Crossing Community.” Hannah said he firmly believes if each church in Chicago came out of their four walls and joined together with other organizations and churches to pray, then local residents might see some difference in their respective communities.

“If we stay the course and do what we’re supposed to do, then I think we will see a difference,” Hannah said. “Unfortunately, negativity gets more attention and it is bad. You can’t deny that it is bad. So, far 1,100 have been shot in the city of Chicago this year. Those are horrible numbers and unacceptable numbers but I think if enough people start to come out and say you know what ‘Enough is enough,’ then you will see a difference.”

To register for Prayer On The 9, please visit www. PrayerOnThe9.org. Follow the specific instructions for “individuals” or “churches/organizations” to receive block placement assignments. For further information, please call 773-285-1731.