This afternoon people from all faiths came together to pray for a community without violence.
At least four different branches from the local Christian Community worshiped under the same roof this afternoon for a peaceful holiday.
A dozen pastors came together to lead one prayer service at South Bend’s Episcopal Cathedral of St. James.
“We thought it would be good to bring together Christians who don't often come together.
This is the season of the year where we are preparing for the birth of Jesus and the Prince of Peace so it just seemed the most appropriate to focus on that as a Christian celebration,” said Reverend Tina Velthuizen from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana.
The church service is called "Preparing for the Prince of Peace in a Violent Community" on the first Sunday of Advent.
A handful of speakers shared their first hand experiences of violence in our community.
“Let's just keep it real. I shot a man and the side of town I was on… there could have easily been a retaliation and there could have been another death in the community,” said John Bell who served ten years in prison after a shooting.
“When I arrived in the hospital my son was in surgery and he had been shot three times… and I was told that… it didn't look that serious,” said Bobbie Woods.
A short time later Woods’ son died though. Now she shares her advice with others to find faith and forgiveness for a better future.
“As I said it will never be the same… but life will go on… and it just gives them hope that you can make it if you just put God first in your life,” said Woods.
“Today is important because I am benefiting from what I believe is one of the best gifts you can receive from the community and that's forgiveness,” said Bell.