NEW HARTFORD – The Saint Stevens Episcopal Church in New Hartford is sending prayers to the United States-Mexico border, praying for the immigrants with uncertain futures.
The church held a “Service of Prayer for Separated Families”, Thursday, as a response to the ongoing practice of separating children from their parents at the country’s border.
Church members say the goal of the service is to bring peace to local families in hopes of bettering America's future.
Rev. Anita Mohr says the images and videos of children, shown in the media, bring tears to her eyes.
"It’s just too hard to look at,” Mohr said. “It’s too hard to look at, imagining what it must be like for those little bitty kids.”
Sarah Kilian, a local teacher who works with refugee students, says seeing children ripped away from their families is heartbreaking.
“They're coming here for the American dream,” Kilian said. “They’re coming here to make things better for their families. And to make it difficult on them. It breaks my heart."
Kilian says attending the prayer service pushes her to want to do more to help.
“I want to know, what are we doing for them? What are we doing for the mother who is separated from their child, and what can we do? And hopefully, prayer will certainly help, but what else can we do?”
Rev. Mohr says she wants community members who are hurting to know that they are not alone.
“I think people need to be together to hear that there are others who are crying,” Mohr said. “There are others who wish to turn this over to God. There are others who understand the compassion of God.”