With the George Zimmerman murder trial nearing its end, Sanford churches announced Monday that they will open their doors for Noon Day Prayer sessions to promote community relations in the city.
Faith-based leaders alliance Sanford Pastors Connecting will offer the hour-long prayer sessions in seven city places of worship during the trial at noon on July 8 and July 15.
Church leaders stressed the importance of maintaining a sense of community and promoting peace and unity among church parishioners during Sanford's trying times.
"After the trial is over, and the media attention is gone, we will remain as a community of neighbors. Our call is to pray for our community for the long-term unity, peace and strength of relationships,” said Rev. Charlie Holt of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lake Mary. “Our churches welcome any and all to come and offer prayer to The Lord for ourselves, for all involved and for our community."
SPC is a coalition of Sanford and Seminole County faith-based leaders that formed in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting to strengthen community relations and discuss differences in the community, according to a release. SPC members say they've been regularly attending the Zimmerman trial and serving as rumor control in the Sanford community.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty, claiming self defense.
Attorneys representing Zimmerman say the trial may end sometime this week.
The following are Sanford locations of the Noon Day Prayer sessions:
· Harvest-Time International - 225 N. Kennel Road, Sanford, Fla.
· First United Methodist Church - 419 S. Park Ave., Sanford, Fla.
· Greater New Mt. Zion Baptist Church – 1720 Pear Ave., Sanford, Fla.
· Allen Chapel AME Church - 1203 Olive Ave., Sanford, Fla.
· New Life Word Center - 1311 Oak Ave., Sanford, Fla.
· Getting Your House In Order Ministries – 2400 Chase Ave., Sanford, Fla.
· Rescue Church of God - 1700 Historical Goldsboro Blvd., Sanford, Fla.