Several Oklahoma City metro area churches were represented Thursday at a prayer service aimed at lifting up the plight of immigrants.
About 300 people attended the Interfaith Prayer Service for Immigration hosted by Voices Organized in Civic Engagement, or VOICE, at Little Flower Catholic Church, 1125 S Walker.
Clergy leaders shared Scripture readings, prayers, poetry and other writings that described the church's responsibility to aid immigrants who seek a better life in America. The presentations were alternately shared in English and Spanish.
The Rev. Tim Luschen, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, read an excerpt from a United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document titled “Strangers No Longer, Together on the Journey of Hope.”
The Rev. Deborah Ingraham, pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church, gave the homily.
The choir from Divine Wisdom Worship Center in Midwest City sang “We've Come This Far By Faith.”
Other churches represented included Mayflower Congregational UCC Church, First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, Holy Temple Baptist Church, and Holy Angels Catholic Church, as well as a nonprofit, the Latino Community Development Agency.
The Rev. Ralph Reyes, pastor of Little Flower, said the gathering was important because of the unity of spirit.
“There's a statement that if people who do evil come together to do evil, why can't good men get together to do good,” Reyes said.
The Rev. George Young, pastor of Holy Temple, said the people gathered Thursday hoped to motivate each other to action like discussing immigration reform with lawmakers and advocating against harsh immigration laws.
“It's an ongoing thing — to bring together diverse communities around a central concern. What better way to do that than with prayer?”
Meanwhile, Guatemalan native Reina De Leon, a member of Holy Angels Catholic Church, smiled as she greeted people after the service.
“It's wonderful because I am happy to see support for immigrants,” she said of the gathering. “Prayer was very touching and it was touching to see everyone unified like this.”