Friday, December 19, 2014

Interfaith Healing Service inspires hope in The Valley

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - More than one hundred community members gathered Monday night for an Interfaith Healing Service in Herkimer.

The service was held at the First United Methodist Church on North Prospect Street.

The crowd was united in voice, and in prayer. People of all faiths, gathering as one.

"We weren't going to solve any problems tonight," said Revered Janet Gleason of the First United Methodist Church. "We weren't going to make it all better tonight. But we were going to say there's a tomorrow and it's a better day."

"I think just by the turnout tonight and the fellowship bringing all the community together I think it does start the healing process," said Mayor Mark Ainsworth, Village of Herkimer. "To know that God is here in Herkimer and that faith will bring us through it."

"I felt tonight went well. I did," said Gleason. "I felt a tremendous surge of energy, of hope. A tremendous blessing settled on us."

"It's been difficult. It's been challenging," said Mayor Mark Ainsworth. "You want to stay strong. You want to go on with being normal and just letting people know the village is safe and we're here to help."

Many local leaders of faith read either a scripture or a prayer during the service.

When it came time for Father Mark Cunningham from St. Francis de Sales to take the podium, he reflected on one of the lives lost last week. Father Cunningham said perhaps the letters in APE the FBI K-9's name says it all- Animal Protects Everyone- APE. He then suggested everyone might think about donating to their local animal shelter.

There were two pews reserved for the family of one of the men killed last week. Family members of Thomas Stefka were expected to attend the service.

The service lasted a little longer than half hour. At the end- candles were lit and everyone inside started singing "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."

After the service there was a reception downstairs with refreshments.