GR-area clergy offer prayers, other support for health care workers

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In the midst of yet another surge, Kent County’s faith-based community is offering support through the power of prayer.

The Kent County Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Team held a prayer service for front line medical workers in front of Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital Monday afternoon. 

“This is about coming together and doing all that we can to recognizing the war we’re in, but also uplifting the workforce that makes up these health care systems,” said Reverend Joe Jones of Brown Hutcherson Ministries in Grand Rapids.

As the latest surge continues fill area hospitals to capacity, the leaders of Mercy Health St. Mary’s, Spectrum Health, University of Michigan Health West and Mary Free Bed joined with the clergy for the service.

“We don’t want them to share that burden alone,” said Reverend Khary Bridgewater, who leads the Kent County Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Team.

“I’m really hopeful that with this support from the faith leaders here today, praying with us and showing a statement of support that maybe we will get pass this surge,” said Dr. Matt Biersack, President of Mercy Health St. Mary’s.

Leaders of the Partnerships Team also talked about doing their own part.

As they’ve done throughout the pandemic, local churches have been social distancing, requring masks, offering virtual services and adding additional services, especially as Christmas approaches.

“They recognize the need to gather, but let’s just do so with safety first,” said Jones.

They’re also asking congregation members to do their part, especially when it comes to getting vaccinated.

“To go forward and get the vaccine,” said Jones. “To get the booster shot. To be a part of the solution and recognize that it’s something that can literally save the life of another.”

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