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Unity rally on Sunday

Will be show of support for those shot at Pennsylvania synagogue

On Sunday, the Ironton Area Ministerial Association will be having a Community Prayer and Unity Celebration to pray for the families and community after the shooting of at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The event will be at 6 p.m. at the Ironton First Nazarene Church.

The keynote speakers will be Rabbi Jean E. Eglinton of B’nai Sholom Congregation in Huntington, West Virginia and Rev. Robert Young First Baptist Church in Burlington.

Rob Hale, pastor of the Ironton First Nazarene Church, said he was watching the news of the killing of 11, and wounding of 6, members of the Tree of Life synagogue and felt that there needed to be a ceremony to show the support of the Lawrence Countians for those in Pittsburgh.

“We wanted to show the community the unity we have in our town,” he said. “And the rabbi is going to tell us what they are going through because we don’t know what is going on for them, we don’t know what they are feeling.”

Hale said what he wanted to put on the community is that “we love each other, we can worship together and it doesn’t matter who you are.”

“Our goal is to pray for the families in Pittsburgh that lost a love one. I would want someone praying for me,” he said. “And we want our community to know that we think this shooting is ugly and that it is wrong. We want to stand in unity against it and show that we love each other.”

The man accused of the synagogue shooting is Robert Bowers, a 46-year-old truck driver has been charged with 44 counts including murder, hate crimes and other offenses that could bring the death penalty. Bowers had a history of posting anti-Jewish statements online.

Hale said they would also remember the first responders because of the work they do in situations like this. He said he invited Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless and Ironton Police Chief Pam Wagner for representatives to attend.

“After a shooting, the police forces are running into the synagogues and churches to save lives,” he said. “So, we want to honor them as well.”

There will be a special song by Angela Young and there will be music lead by Kristen Martin, the Ironton First Nazarene Church choir director.