Nearby church responds to shooting death of toddler and other So - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Nearby church responds to shooting death of toddler and other South Bend violence

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Just a few blocks away from where the two-year-old John Swoveland, Jr was killed, sits a church.  Friday that church had their usual Good Friday Services, but the message was a little different as Preachers talked about the recent violence in the community.

The church's Pastor, Reverend Franklin Breckenridge is frustrated.  "My first immediate reaction is to throw up my hands and say 'Oh lord not again, why, why, why, why, what is it gonna take Lord?'"   

Rev. Breckenridge said when he calms down he knows it's the people's job to do something about the violence, something to stop the type of feuds police say led to the latest tragedy.  "Whether you call them groups or gangs, they're looking at two main things they're trying to satisfy, accomplish in their life and that is connection with others."

Rev. Breckenridge has a plan for showing youth in the community a way to connect with others that doesn't involve violence, a prayer and praise convocation that will be held at his church next week.

He said it will teach kids four important lessons one of them, "becoming an adult, which is the path for youth ages 15-22...all of the youth involved in the killing were between those ages," said Breckenridge.

The Rev. said the convocation will include workshops, prayer walks, and more.  It's been in the works since October, but he says it seems more appropriate now than ever.  "Only God could have done that, see how awesome he is.  We had no way of knowing that was gonna happen, or the other one, but we do know that there have been killings."

Rev. Breckenridge said the purpose of the convocation is to stop the killings and create morally responsible young adults.  "Sending forth everybody who's here to go out and have an impact on the Michiana community."

The convocation will be held next week Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Anyone in the community is welcome to attend.  You can register right at the door.  For those younger than 25 the cost is $10 but there are scholarships available.  For anyone over 25 the cost is $25.

The church is located at 719 N Notre Dame Ave in South Bend.

The prayer walks will take place at 8 both Friday and Saturday morning.  It will be about a mile long and one of the stops will be the home where John Swoveland, Jr. was killed.

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