A yearly tradition for St. George, St. John the Baptist and St. Raphael Orthodox churches is the blessing of either the Iowa or Cedar River. This is apart of the celebration of the baptism of Jesus and symbolizes healing and transformation.
For member of St. Raphael church, Karen Kuntz, she looks forward every year to the ceremony along the river banks.
"In our church, we emphasize our relationship with the natural world and our responsibility to the natural world," said Kuntz.
The celebration is not unique to eastern Iowa. Father Ignatius Valentine from St. Raphael said Orthodox Christians across the world celebrate around a body of water.
"Not only did Jesus come to save humanity, but he's interested in the created world too. Our water is a created natural resource, so we came here to ask for God's blessing on the Iowa river," said Valentine.
During the service, a cross was tossed into the river, representing healing, something members of the faith community say our world needs now more than ever.
"We can get stuck in a rut and we can worry about the things of the world. We need to have something greater than ourselves," said Valentine.
In an era plagued by divisiveness, their community has turned to faith to find peace.
"Our love for God strengthens us when we're trying to deal with and sort out all the hate and energy in the world," said Kuntz.
By putting their issues into greater hands, members say it helps them find clarity in what is important.
"The church preaches unity, and Christ preaches unity. We Christians find our unity together in Christ. We wan t to bring Christ's healing into this world so we can all enjoy God's creation," said Valentine.
Valentine has recommended to the members of his church to take a break from social media, find time to rest and pray to help seek a better future for all.