National Day of Prayer: Waterbury religious community hits the streets to pray, thank front-line workers fighting the coronavirus

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Outside Waterbury City Hall Thursday, many of the city’s religious leaders gathered for the city’s National Day of Prayer.

At a safe social-distance from each other, religious leaders gathered to pray as a group on the steps of City Hall and the police station early Thursday. Then, they piled into their cars for a prayer motorcade across Waterbury to spread the message of faith and to say ‘thank you’ to front-line workers at the city’s nursing homes and hospitals.

All of this the brainchild of Rev. Elaine Burke of Alpha and Omega Kingdom Ministries in Waterbury. She said, “We need to go by there and to let them know we are lifting them up in prayer — their families.”

The cars that were part of the long motorcade roared through downtown streets had hand-written messages saying ‘thank you’ and indicating that this was the National Day of Prayer.

The steps outside Police headquarters took on a church feel for part of the afternoon as several spirited people asked God to look over the police department.

“We ask that you cover our policemen, oh God!” yelled one member of the group. “Bless each and every one!”

The city’s police chief was moved by the gesture. Eleven of his officers have tested positive for the coronavirus; many more showing symptoms during the pandemic.

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“So meaningful for our community to be out there showing us their support praying for healing in the city, praying for the safety of police officers,” said Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

For Reverent Burke, this National Day of Prayer is personal, especially when it comes to the COVID-19 crisis. Some of her loved-ones have died from the virus, while others have survived thanks in large part to the efforts of hospital workers.

“I thank God for their love for them,” she said.

And that was the purpose of the prayer and the motorcade, to show those who try to protect them how grateful people are. They wanted to find a way to use the strength of their faith to give those on the frontlines the strength they need to continue to see us through this tough time.

“We are all in this together,” said Rev. Burke.

Waterbury has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and religious leaders say they are using their faith on this day to get through the crisis and thank those keeping the city safe at this time.

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