Nearly every day, I hear of someone being killed as a result of gun violence. Gun violence does not discriminate; it has been said that bullets do not have eyes. Statistics show one Missourian dies every 8 hours from gun violence and that Missouri has the 6th highest gun death rate in all 50 states.
But it is the killing of our precious children that has shaken our community and is so heart-wrenching. In the St Louis area, the number of children fatally shot in the St. Louis area in 2019, as of September, is 23. Gun violence is the second leading cause of death for Missouri children ages 1 to 17.
The police are doing what they know to do, but the deaths of our children continue. I know how to combat this attack on the Lord’s souls. In the scriptures He has given us a method: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).
The Lord has laid on my heart to conduct a 40-day city-wide prayer and fasting effort, “Spiritual Warfare Against Crime: Fasting and Prayer.” The prayer and fasting will begin Monday, December 2 at 9 a.m. and continue through January 10, 2020, at midnight. We are asking the clergy and their congregations from all over the St Louis area to join us in this effort. We will convene at the Williams Temple COGIC, 1500 N. Union in St. Louis. We will be praying and fasting against crime for 40 days and 40 nights in our main sanctuary. God answers the prayers of the righteous.
Feel free to come by and pray and fast with us during this timeframe, day or night. Should you need more information regarding this effort, feel free to contact Lady Shirley Wooten at 314-583-0610.
Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten is pastor of Williams Temple Church of God in Christ, a general board member of the Church of God In Christ and prelate of Eastern Missouri Western Illinois.
Church hosts Fair Trade Market
Manchester United Methodist Church will host a Fair Trade Market 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. November 29 – December 1 at the church, 129 Woods Mill Rd. in Manchester. The Fair Trade Market offers unique holiday gifts, international crafts, and exquisite foods. Organizers stated, “We have items that will delight and surprise. We are the nation’s largest Fair Trade Market with over 3,000 square feet of merchandise from around the world. Enjoy food samples, educational presentations, and giveaways. By choosing Fair Trade products, you get great value, and ensure equitable wages and treatment for farmers, artisans and their communities.”