Rome, N.Y. - Several dozen people lined the front of Redeemer Church on N. Washington Street in Rome Sunday morning, not for an impromptu church service, but for a 'prayer meeting'.
Redeemer Church Pastor Mark Schilling decided to hold the gathering for people to come together and simply pray together, albeit with social distancing in place, to pray for the city of Rome, the city of Utica, other cities across Upstate New York as well as the entire country, after watching what happened around the country and in many cities across upstate New York both Friday night and Saturday night, "We want to make a place for people to come and pray and stand together and just believe God that he’s going to heal our country, heal physical bodies, heal our economy, heal the racial divides that exist, that’s what we’re hoping to do today."
Pastor Schilling says he understands why people are upset, "There’s a very real voice of groups that don’t feel heard or understood and we want to make sure that we say, we see you, we hear you, and we want to make sure that every person of every background, of every color, of every nation, feels loved."
For those in attendance, it was the first time they have gathered with a crowd of other people since the nation basically shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of those people in attendance in Rome was Ann Myers of Utica. Myers says she believes people coming together to pray like they are today, is what is needed to help heal the country, "You should be gathering together to ask the Lord to come and meet with us and to bring peace to our community and to bring healing for this virus and for the trauma that’s happening in our world."