WORTHINGTON — A group of young student leaders hosted a community vigil Sunday afternoon in Chautauqua Park to honor the community members who have been lost to COVID-19.

The young women shared poems that have brought them comfort and clarity, ranging in topic from change, adaptation and loss to unity, remembrance and vision. They noted that whether each person is connected with those who have died or not, all have something to grieve during this global pandemic.

Specifically named were Alejandro Rodriguez and Maria Isabel Tovar, two Nobles County residents who died from the novel coronavirus. The leaders suggested that the community support the families of the deceased by praying for them and by giving financially to help with medical bills and funeral expenses.

Pastor Jim Krapf was invited to offer a prayer, during which he expressed gratitude for the initiative of the leaders and asked for comfort for those who are grieving.

The program included some periods of silence, as participants were encouraged to reflect on how life has changed and what has been lost as a result of COVID-19.

The organizers expressed gratitude to the community members who attended the vigil.

"It means a lot to us that you care about the community and outcomes for the community," said Rosa Abdela.

To close the service, the leaders invited community members to approach the microphone and share how COVID-19 has affected them personally.