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Mayor Bliss: Prayer for victims of COVID-19, prayer for victims of racism

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Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalyn Bliss joined area faith leaders Monday to pray for the city.  With the number of deaths across the United States surpassing 100,000, the online gathering Monday was part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ National Day of Prayer and Remembrance to mourn and honor those who have died from the coronavirus.

But, just one day after the city of Grand Rapids declared a state of civil emergency and enacted a curfew following a night of violent protests, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss called on area faith leaders to also pray for healing. 

“We know that as individuals, and collectively as a nation, that we need time,” Bliss said. “We need time to stop, and to pray, and to mourn, and truly honor those who have passed. This is also timely because of deep, terrible issues that are happening across our communities of color, so we pause today and also mourn the lives of those lost to racism.”

Leaders from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths all joined Mayor Bliss as one by one each took turns praying for unity and peace in the city. Monday morning city officials thanked the community following a calm Sunday night…nine curfew-related arrests were made overnight in downtown Grand Rapids, but city officials said they were without incident.