A service of lament to remember the victims of gun violence in Toronto and their families was held at the Ghanaian Anglican Church of Toronto on Nov. 3. “It was a meaningful service for those who attended, including grieving parents who received support and encouragement,” said the Rev. Jacqueline Daley, one of the organizers and the priest-in-charge of St. Margaret, New Toronto.
The service remembered 45 victims who had died and 154 who had been injured from gun violence in the city as of Nov. 3. One parent, Okwi Modekwe, father of shooting victim Ernest Modekwe, shared his journey of grief.
In addition to comforting the families and loved ones of the shooting victims, the service called for action to address gun violence, calling it public health crisis that is threatening the well-being of Toronto. The Rev. Sky Starr, pastor and executive director of Out of Bounds, a charity that provides grief and trauma support in the GTA, provided practical strategies to support grieving families.
The service was led by Ms. Daley and Rev. Kenneth Korsah, priest-in-charge of the Ghanaian Anglican Church of Toronto. Through their ministries, both continue to support families and friends impacted by gun violence. On July 13, they officiated at the funeral service for Mr. Modekwe, 28, who was killed on Queen Street; more than 300 young people attended the funeral. “The majority participated in Holy Communion, food to strengthen them for the journey of grief,” said Ms. Daley. “This is a very urgent and important work of the Church that needs attention.”