Leaders & Officials to Gather at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Support of Designating Houses of Worship Essential

Cathedral of St. John The Divine

photo by Kripa Chettiar

At 1pm on Thursday, May 6 (National Day of Prayer), faith leaders and elected officials from across New York City will rally on the front stairs of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to urge Governor Cuomo and New York legislators to designate houses of worship as essential. The #HOWtoVaxNYC rally will be led by Pastor Gilford T. Monrose and activist Bertha Lewis, who will aim to “highlight the unique ability of houses of worship to host long-term health programs, including COVID-19 vaccinations, and bring awareness to the essential role religious institutions serve in NYC communities.”

“Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, houses of worship in New York City continue to prove their commitment and capacity to provide life-saving services to their communities. New York’s diverse churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith centers have risen to meet the needs of communities hit hardest by the pandemic by offering critical medical, social, and shelter services since the onset of the coronavirus,” a press release states. “The Cathedral of St. John the Divine has been at the front lines of efforts to protect and serve its community, pledging its space for use as a testing site, a field hospital or vaccine site and hosting numerous vigils, rallies, and prayer services on its front stairs, and is proud to partner with fellow houses of worship and faith leaders for the #HOWtoVaxNYC initiative.”

“New York is moving quickly towards a full summer reopening, yet many residents in low-income communities of color remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. As trusted voices with the proven ability to provide health services, houses of worship are well-prepared to assist in the vaccination of communities who have been impacted hardest by the pandemic. Essential classification would allow faith centers to amplify their already-great efforts to support the health of their neighborhoods. New York cannot reopen safely until access to vaccinations is truly equitable.

“All are invited to attend and show their support for this movement and learn more about how houses of worship have played an essential role in their communities during COVID-19. To show support for the movement, people are encouraged to use the hashtag #WeAreEssential on social media. The rally will open with a welcome by the Reverend Canon Dr. Patrick Malloy, Sub Dean of the Cathedral. Speakers will include elected officials from New York City, faith leaders and clergy members, and nonprofit organizers.”

EVENT: #HOWtoVaxNYC Rally
DATE: Thursday, May 6
TIME: 1 PM
WHERE: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street)




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  1. Loh Phat May 5, 2021

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