An East Village church protested the death of Michael Brown by having its congregants hold up their hands in surrender during morning prayer Sunday.

Holding one's hands up "is the way ancient people of faith prayed. They prayed with their hands up to stay alert," said the Rev. Adriene Thorne at the Middle Collegiate Church.

The pose is also "a gesture of surrender to God," she said, adding, "As we stand in the posture of prayer, we stand with grieving families who are missing loved ones."

Congregants of the reformed Protestant church were asked to sign a petition asking President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. John Boehner to enact federal laws against police misconduct.

The "hands up, don't shoot" gesture has become protesters' battle cry against police brutality in the wake of the Ferguson shooting.