CONKLIN, NY – Some local religious leaders are coming together in Conklin this weekend to offer prayer in response to our community’s connection to the racially motivated mass murder in Buffalo.

A group of local clergy is staffing a prayer table at the Conklin Fair tonight and tomorrow.

The effort was conceived by Reverend Alicia Dixon-Garrard, Lead Pastor and Planter of the Community of Grace of the Southern Tier.

Dixon-Garrard, who leads a multi-racial congregation, feels it’s important to break through societal barriers to allow for healing conversations that are inter-racial and inter-denominational.

Among the fellow pastors joining her is Reverend Harold Wheat of Tabernacle and Nimmonsburg United Methodist Churches.

Dixon-Garrard says because the accused killer came from our area, Conklin and Buffalo will forever be linked.

“We need to talk about it but we can talk about it more in just presence. We want to be a healing presence here for the community. And a presence of unity and love-building given the tragedy that took place,” she said.

“It’s meaningful that there’s a place for people to grieve and to talk about what’s going on for us as we realize that our community produced someone who did this mass murder,” says Reverend Wheat.

Wheat says it’s important to give people space to express their sadness, grief and anger.

The clergy will have 2 tablets for people to write prayers for the victims and those who are suffering in both communities.

They plan to be at the fair this evening from 5 PM to 8 PM and tomorrow from noon to 4 PM.