For the second time in as many years, Pastor Paul Hoffman has felt the pull to step out and speak up for unity against hatred.

Prompted by the recent events in Charlottesville, VA, Pastor Hoffman knew he could not stand idly by. “We need to unite against hatred by opening a dialogue and creating a new narrative for peace,” says Paul Hoffman, pastor of Evangelical Friends Church of Newport.

Hoffman, along with other community faith leaders, has issued a public invitation to unite in prayer against hatred. The group will gather peacefully at Newport City Hall on Sunday, August 20th at 6 pm, sharing a moment of silence in memory of Heather Heyer, followed by a time in united prayer.

“This is a crucial moment to gather the community in support of a Christian vision for peace and love,” said Hoffman. “I am inspired by the words of Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King, Jr, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’ Matthew 6:44 and ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hoffman is no stranger in uniting the community peacefully in the midst of dark times. In July of 2016, burdened by the shootings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas he called together local faith leaders and residents of Newport County for an impromptu prayer rally. The rally was the impetus for weekly prayer on the steps of City Hall through November elections, as well as pulling barriers and walls down within the community.

All are encouraged to attend. For those who are not able to attend, Hoffman asks that all rally in place and join them in prayer.

EFC Newport is a contemporary church located at 70 Bliss Mine Road in Middletown, RI. For more information, visit or call 401-847-1490.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

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