Hampton church bringing community together to talk about tough issues

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A Hampton church is opening its doors Friday night for a “listening session” about street crime, police-involved shootings and racial tension.

The event is an opportunity for panelists and the community to address violence and division with faith and hope. The forum is called “One Body of Christ” and will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Parishioners and staff at Immaculate Conception are aware of the seemingly endless violence among the streets. Their response is to come together to talk about it.

“There’s no dialog taking place… so, if we can just listen to one another, and hear the different perspectives, I think that’s a starting point,” said forum organizer Carol Dufresne.

Some of the panelists include Hampton prosecutor Anto Bell and juvenile court Judge Jay Dugger.

Parishioners know they’re not going to solve the world’s problems in one night’s conversation, but they consider the forum a success if people leave with a sense of hope and a desire to keep talking to each other.

“One of the things that we can do as a Catholic church, and I think people of faith can do, is to say, ‘Wait, there is a deeper belonging that we have to each other that can endure even in the midst of these challenging times,'” forum organizer Steve Delaney said.

The event is free and open to the public. It starts at 7 p.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton.

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