Organizers hope 30 days of prayer in July can help Minneapolis heal

Organizers in Minneapolis hope the city can heal through 30 consecutive days of prayer.

Organizers are hoping Minneapolitans can begin to heal through prayer and reflection during a 30-day challenge in July.

Among the hustle and bustle of West Broadway in North Minneapolis Sunday afternoon, people like Dianne Haulcy stopped to pray for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

“But to really sit and be silent and to realize that was the exact amount of time that a man had his knee on another man’s neck, you realize how much time he had to change his mind,” said Haulcy.

Organizers like Don Samuels hope that the moment of quiet reflection during a tumultuous time in Minnesota history can help the city heal.

“There’s a general sense that we’re overwhelmed and in uncharted territory and over our heads,” Samuels said.

The effort is called “Healing our city – 30 days of prayer.” It’s a collaborative effort. The tents are manned daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by African-American religious leaders from Minneapolis. All are welcome to pray.

“It’s real easy right now to just witness an event and keep moving to the next thing without really stopping to understand the effects it’s had on our bodies, on our minds, on our lives and our families,” said Haulcy.

“It has to be a spiritual solution that begins with people opening up themselves to another way of living,” Samuels added.

The former Minneapolis City Councilor has a unique perspective as a leader and longtime neighbor in the community.

“If we get active, if we get passionate, if we get compassionate, if we get concerned about our young people more than we are now, then everything will change,” said Samuels.

Under the tent, there are specific topics to pray and meditate on throughout the month of July. The first 10 days are focused on grief.

“It’s painful when you really stop to take a moment to grieve like we’re doing it’s really painful,” Samuels said.

The next topics will be change and, finally, a new future for the city of Minneapolis.

“I want a place where my young African-American sons can walk freely and be safe where all of our sons can walk freely and be safe. That’s what I hope for and that’s what I pray for,” Samuels explained.