Community Peace Vigil Brings Out Hope in Hopewell Borough (PHOTOS)


    In the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, neighbors, friends, and community and religious leaders gathered in solidarity tonight at the Hopewell United Methodist Church, standing united for peace and love “in a time of hatred, conflict, and violence in our country and around the world.”

    Those in attendance sang, remembered lives lost, and sought to envision a more peaceful and accepting time. Local religious leaders spoke about the importance of focusing on love and standing up for injustice.

    Hopewell Borough Mayor Paul Anzano said a few words and expressed continued gratitude for designating the Borough as a Sanctuary City.

    Deacon John Buck of the Second Calvary Baptist Church in Hopewell Borough proudly described Hopewell as a “small town with a big heart” and expressed gratitude for those in attendance.

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    Pastor Kate Hillis of Hopewell United Methodist Church moved many to tears, “It grieves my heart to say that this violence against our fellow human beings is not an isolated incident. It is also not an incident that we can afford to look away from because it didn’t happen in our community — this time. Many egregious and violence acts of hate have often been done in the name of God and, as pastor in this town, I need you to know that I’m not okay with it. And I will not be silent on issues of injustice.”

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    Mary Galioto
    Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.


    1. From a “son” of Hopewell now living, and resisting, in Charlottesville, I’m proud of and grateful for your response to the weekend’s horrors here. Thank you, Hopewell, for the rock-solid foundation you fostered in me as a young person 30 years ago, and for somehow supporting me still even today.


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