RHODE ISLAND: Leaders of The Healing Church of West Greenwich, which uses marijuana for prayer and anointing, said they have been holding daily novenas since Thursday at the Roger Williams National Memorial and that they were questioned but not arrested Sunday by a park ranger and Providence police.
Anne Armstrong and Alan Gordon, who live at 99 Hudson Pond Rd., West Greenwich, where the church meets, said they plan to continue the novenas until a service at the federal property at 8 p.m. Saturday, for which they have a permit from the National Park Service to allow a gathering of up to 100 people.
Cannabis, which they consider “sacred matter,” is part of prayer.
Armstrong said the hour-long novenas, starting at 5:20 p.m. on weekdays, are being held for the nine days before Pentecost, which for most Christians falls on May 24 this year. They have been meeting at the well to a spring that Roger Williams and the first European settlers in Providence used, which has religious significance for Armstrong.