Over 75 people from the community joined interfaith clergy and community leaders for a “March and Prayer Service in support of Immigrants, Refugees and Muslims” sponsored by St. Peter’s Church in Clifton on February 19, 2017.
The peaceful gathering allowed members of the community to express their support for immigrants, refugees and Muslims living in Clifton, and to offer prayers for the creation of a welcoming community.
The marchers carried pictures from the “We the People” series by the graphic artist and social activist Shephard Fairey. The posters feature Native Americans, African Americans, Muslims, and Latinas.
The Rev. Peter De Franco, Rector of St. Peter’s Church and the Rev. Mike Weber, Pastor of the United Reformed Church of Clifton organized the event, which included other religious and community leaders: Dr. Mohammad Qatanani, the Senior Imam of the Passaic County Islamic Center; the Rev. Diana Wilcox, Rector of Christ Church in Bloomfield/Glen Ridge; Nabil Abbassi, President of the Passaic County Islamic Center; Ahmad Okasha from the Bergen County Islamic Center, Hackensack; Lauren Murphy, Clifton Council Member; and Matt Ward, Former Clifton City Council Member.
The March began at St. Peter’s Church and proceeded down Clifton Avenue to Main Avenue, ending at the Monument at Main Memorial Park. People from the community joined the March in process. The Clifton Police Department provided assistance in crossing major intersections.
Along the March, Prayers were offered for immigrants, refugees and Muslims, and for elected leaders in the United States from the President of the United States to the members of the Clifton City Council.
At the Monument, the Rev. Mike Weber led the group in the singing of America The Beautiful and in a closing prayer for the city of Clifton and for the nation. Dr. Mohammad Qatanani, Nabil Abbassi and the Rev. Peter De Franco also addressed the gathering.