BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — It was an emotional tribute on Jefferson Avenue Sunday, as church leaders held a vigil for the victims of the Tops mass shooting.

Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania organized a prayer vigil Sunday across the street from the Tops, where 10 people were shot and killed last weekend.

“It is important that this community has a relationship with one another that that’s how we will begin to tear down the thins that are happening in this world all around the world. there is too much darkness going on,” said Rev. Deacon Lillian Davis-Wilson.

“Be patient with your community as we navigate through grief and trauma, which is a process,” Bishop Vashti McKenzie, the president of the National Council of Churches, said.

It’s a process church leaders say won’t happen overnight, as there’s more work that needs to be done.

“I want people to take away a sense that we’re standing together, but also that we have our work cut out for us,” Bishop Sean Rowe said. “Particularly white people, we’ve got work to do. It was a white person who walked in that store and shot people because they were Black. We’ve got work to do and we can’t continue to ask communities of color to do that work.”

“To stand and know that guess what, we shall prevail,” said Marlene Pryor, who stopped by the memorial outside of Tops. “We have to stay together as a community. when the dust settles and it’s all over, guess what? We can’t go run and hide, as if it didn’t happen, as if there’s nothing else to do. Guess what? There’s still work that needs to be done.”

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.