Hi <<First Name>>,

Here's a recap of the evening at Confluence Ministries.

On Wednesday, March 23rd, we gathered in response to the increase in violent crimes, gun violence, and lives lost in our city. Though there are complex issues that go into why we are experiencing this violence, the gathering was a response and a forum to express concerns, prayers, and insights in the pursuit of peace in our city. 

Lewis "Proxy" Brown, A well-known musician, faith leader, and moderator for the evening highlighted that coming together as the Church in the city is a great first step. He stated the next step is then to "Be Peacemakers" -  He shared that being a peacemaker is not the same as being a peacekeeper.

"A Peacemaker is someone who works on behalf of peace...And what's hard about that is sometimes you have to first work through your own pain and grief for peace."

We had the pleasure of having several leaders in the city share their stories and insights into their peacemaking journey. 

Armondo Saldate, assistant deputy director of the Department of Public Safety, shared that we have gone through a lot of trauma in the city that has been magnified by the pandemic along with many co-occurring issues. He shared that "I come here as a peacemaker... and we need more safe spaces to talk through the trauma."  

Armondo talked about putting leadership together to address the root causes co-occurring with violent acts in the city - and that "We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem... Police are not going to solve every problem by arresting people and incarcerating them - putting them in that cycle is not the solution...A big part of what we need is in this room..."

Ana Hernandez-Thallas, then shared her story as a mother who lost her daughter, Isabella Joy Thallas, to gun violence while walking her dog outside the ballpark apartments. She shared about the creation of Bella Joy Gardens, as a place of healing, a memorial to her daughter, and a tribute to those who have lost loved ones to violence. As well as her journey lobbying to pass "The Isabella Joy Act". 

Throughout Ana's story, she carried immense strength in the midst of a very difficult trial. Now that she has turned this tragedy into a mission of making peace in the city she states that "It is hard to stand up for what you believe in, but how else is there going to be change..."

Pastor Glenn Garcia capped off the evening by sharing from Proverbs 18:1 

"A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment."

Pastor Glenn pointed out how we need to step out into our community and be present though we feel tired and weak. It is especially powerful to step out when we feel like we have nothing to offer because then the grace of the Lord will be our strength.

He then shared: "One of the first lessons you learn in psychological first aid is presence...and so we need to be out there and be a presence because look at whose presence we carry..."

Pastor Glenn Garcia coordinates Safe Haven Denver, a collaborative of churches in the Denver area that serve and support communities experiencing fear and trauma due to violence. 

As the evening came to an end the Holly Spirit filled the room as we began to worship and pray for the city and each other. It was a powerful time of receiving encouragement and healing!
It was as if the Lord was showing us that the Church gathering and responding in public spaces, particularly places of pain, will reveal His grace and healing to the world.

So as you go out from reading this recap, may you live in the peace that Jesus has given to you; and may you share it with the world around you. 

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  - John 14:27

Peace be with you,




The Public Peace Initiative is a movement of peacemakers building bridges of unity, reconciliation, and hope for our world. 


“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

– Matthew 5:9 –


We do this by developing campaigns that connect people to peacemaking opportunities through acts of love, justice, and generosity.

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