MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — For eight minutes and 46 seconds on the Milford Town Green on Thursday, all you could hear was a heartbeat. Clergy, police, politicians and prayer-goers honored George Floyd by kneeling or lying down for the exact length of time it took for Floyd’s heart to stop while a now-fired Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck.
“[I hope] that God would give us wisdom to be able to have the conversations ahead that will bring real change, real hope and real peace,” said Pastor Michael Bulkley of Kingdom Life Christian Church.
Churchgoers said Floyd’s death and the protests that have followed have forced hard but overdue conversations among their own flock.
“We’ve never really had a dialogue; we usually have to muzzle how we feel and hide it, acting like everything’s OK when it’s not with everything that’s going on,” said Sheree Baldwin Muhammad, a parishioner of Kingdom Life Christian Church.
“We show our support, and we’re with them and anything they need we’ll give them through God and through our charity,” said Peggy Syc, a parishioner of Cornerstone Christian Center.
The prayer vigil was held by the Milford Clergy Association hours before Floyd’s televised memorial service as a way to mourn, heal and move ahead together.
“Along with protest there needs to be prayer,” said Pastor Bulkley.