'Sunday Soul Neighbors' help each other cope during pandemic through prayer, faith

MATTESON, Ill. (WLS) -- It's a testament to the power of prayer and the faith we can have in one another.

"Neighbors that pray together, stay together, and they have what's needed for a neighborhood," said Antoinette Lewis.

Along a stretch of Lindenwood Drive in south suburban Matteson, a group of neighbors have come together in a special way to help each other get through the pandemic.

"A lot of times, you are in a pandemic and you need some hope," said Rodney Lewis.

Over the last year and a half, they've met on their driveways every Sunday at 2 p.m. to say the Lord's Prayer. It's called "Sunday Soul Neighbors" and is the brainchild of longtime resident Shirley Bullock.

"Everybody was panicking about the pandemic, and I felt that if we came together and prayed about it, that we would be safe," Bullock said.

What started with just a handful of neighbors has grown to include much of the block.

"I heard the music playing and I'm like, 'that's gospel music playing.' So I came out," said Rochelle Michael.

Felicia Harmon Brown drives from nearby Glenwood to join in.

"COVID put us all together at home worshiping. It didn't matter what church you were in, it didn't matter what denomination," she said.

Those who participate said this unique prayer circle is not only a place for conversation and fellowship, but they also credit it with helping them to deal with the uncertainties and isolation COVID caused.

"I'm more at peace, I'm calmer and it's like a totally different feeling. You look forward to Sunday now," said Barbara Copeland.

The neighbors hope more people will join their prayer circle, but in the meantime, they're having a block party next week in an effort to celebrate the friendships and connections they've made.
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