COVID-19 Remembrance Planned For March 26 In Amherst

COVID-19 memorial flags near the Washington Monument. Photo: Scott Ableman/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) (

Source: Interfaith Opportunities Network

Three years ago COVID changed our country and world in ways that could not have been imagined. There have been a million COVID deaths in the US and seven million world-wide. COVID fell disproportionately on some much more than others: the elderly, the poor, People of Color, healthcare workers, and all those who could not work from home when no vaccines were available and who kept doing their jobs even at risk to themselves.

Interfaith Opportunities Network will host a COVID Remembrance Interfaith Gathering on Sunday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m. on Amherst Common. Grace Episcopal Church’s bells will call us to the area across from the church. If it is raining or too cold the gathering will be held inside the church. This event will offer a chance to grieve with others for the people and things lost from COVID.

Prayers, readings, and reflections will be offered by Pastor Mary Smith Gomes of Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church, Ruth Love Barer of Jewish Community of Amherst, Omar Abdelaal of Hampshire Mosque, Rev. Meghan McDermott of Grace Church, Rev. Jeffrey Schultz of Immanuel Lutheran Church, and others. Those attending are encouraged to bring the name(s) of those they have lost. There will be an opportunity to place these names in a bowl during the gathering.

Rev. Gomes says that, “Although I had a bad COVID case, I was much more fortunate than many. We want others to know that they are not alone with their pain and losses from COVID and that there are many others with empathy for them.”

The gathering will also provide an opportunity to celebrate the community’s resilience as people begin to recover and move on from the pandemic. Amherst Area Gospel Choir, Journey Home hospice choir, Healing Circle singers, and the newly formed choir of Hopping Tree Sangha will offer songs.

Rep. Mindy Domb will describe efforts of the state legislature to mark and honor this time of COVID. The Town Council’s recent resolution on COVID remembrance will be read.

All are welcome to take part, not just those from area faith communities. Although the town has called for a COVID remembrance day on the first Monday in March in future years, this provides an opportunity to remember together this year.

For more information contact Interfaith Opportunity Network’s COVID remembrance committee: Pastor Mary Smith Gomes (Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church) (860) 949-3038

Carla Becker (Hopping Tree Sangha)

Katie Tolles (ION Convener / First Church Amherst)

Peter Blood (Mt Toby Friends Meeting) 413-658-7657

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