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(The Quad Cities Association of Evangelicals)

 Representatives from faith communities on both sides of the river met on Tuesday, January 20, to discuss a response to the picketing announced by Westboro Baptist Church in the Quad-Cities. The response was united: Ignore them!

"We will not allow them to interrupt the most important thing we do on Sunday, and that is worship God," said Melvin Grimes, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Moline, and current President of the board for Churches United.

 Representatives of some of the faith communities being picketed were present or had already communicated their desire that the protesters be ignored.

"Doing nothing, in this case, is a positive response," said Christine Isham, Senior Pastor at Edwards Congregation UCC, Davenport. "We are choosing to put water on a fire instead of fuel it."

 "The Quad Cities Association of Evangelicals (QCAE) encourages our members to pray that good would overcome evil, light would overcome darkness, truth would overcome lies, and that love would overcome hate in every part of our community," commented Tom McGovern, president of QCAE.

 Rabbi Henry Karp, Temple Immanuel, Davenport, explained that Westboro has two things that fuel their efforts: stirring up attention and the money they receive from suing counter protesters who are not as familiar with the law. He encouraged faith communities and others not to give Westboro the attention they seek.

 "We do not want to become them by returning their hate," said Rabbi Karp.

 Showing this support for other faith communities makes it clear that this is a peaceful community, noted Imam Saad Baig, Islamic Center of the Quad Cities. "This response makes the strength of our relationships in this community solidly clear."

 Instead, local congregations are urged to include special prayers in this weekend’s worship services. If community members who are not part of a congregation are looking for a way to respond, they are encouraged to attend a service at a local house of worship in their community.

Watch our video above to see just how Churches United makes a difference to so many in the Quad City area. This video was made possible by a gracious grant from the Hunt & Diane Harris Foundation


William Campbell and the Maia Quartet perform 'Piano Quintet' at the 50th annual delegate assembly - click here to listen to a portion of this amazing composition
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