ORLANDO | Elected officials and clergy from many faiths unite to proclaim Oct. 22-29 as “Days of Prayer and Reflection”.
“The City of Orlando invites residents, in accordance with their own faiths and beliefs, to join together in compassion and support for those lost from COVID-19 and for our entire community,” states the proclamation signed Oct. 13 by City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and city commissioners.
The proclamation comes as legislators reflect on the past year of pandemic, noting “COVID-19 has affected every resident in our community in different ways.” With more than 228,000 individuals in Orange County having tested positive for the virus and more than 2,000 deaths, the hope is all the faithful will pray for those suffering hardships, loss, unemployment, food insecurity, isolation and anxiety.
The proclamation states, “the faith community has played a key role in our community’s pandemic response” acknowledging “the power of prayer and reflection can help provide strength, hope and guidance as we continue to face challenges from COVID-19.”
Father John Giel, Vicar General and Chancellor for Canonical Affairs for the Diocese of Orlando, was among those present Oct. 13 at a prayer event unveiling the proclamation and requesting clergy to unite in an ecumenical commitment for the good of the community.
Each minister of faith shared a prayer for the community. Father Giel noted the importance of, “not only the community and politicians, but religious leaders gathering to pray for the end of the pandemic and an understanding we are called together to offer our prayers to God, no matter what religion we are.”
He said, “This gathering shows we must all band together, especially when these difficulties, such as the pandemic occur, and to understand that God is there with us. As Christians, we are reminded too that in the midst of difficult moments we see the presence of Christ more because we participate in His death and resurrection through the struggles. We carry the cross with the Lord, but also share in His resurrection.”