ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - Pastors from several churches across St. Louis gathered with community members Friday night for an event to pray for unity.
The event, held at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis, was called 'Unity in the Lou.' The local non-profit, St. Louis Reconciliation Network, said one of the goals of the event was to proclaim that divisive behaviors and racist systems must be banished.
“We feel like there’s an opportunity for people just to gather even in this COVID environment to celebrate even the unity that we believe is possible to accomplish here in St. Louis," said Brandon Wilkes, executive director for St. Louis Reconciliation Network. “This is not the first pandemic to hit the world. There has been injustice throughout time and people have persevered because they had hope.”
Though prayer was a big part of Friday's event, organizers said it's important to note that it does not stop at prayer.
“Even the Bible tells us faith without works is dead, so you can have as much faith as you want, but if you don’t do something about that, then you are not really making the progress that you need to," said Wilkes.
Despite the rain, people gathered to worship with local musicians, including Randy Mayfield, who also happens to be a local pastor.
“The scripture we based this on, I wrote the theme song on it from Revelation 7:9, and it says the people from every tribe, tongue and nation come together, waving palm branches in unity," said Mayfield.
Mayfield and Wilkes said they know this concert won't change everything, but they hope it sends a message that unity is possible and to offer people hope at a time of such divisiveness.
“When you begin to have relationships, intentional relationships with people who are different from yourself, you begin to understand the other people’s perspective. Once you understand other people’s perspectives, a relationship is built and unity goes from there," said Wilkes.
St. Louis Reconciliation Network is hosting the 'Race for Reconciliation' on September 7 at Tower Grove Park. You can learn more information by clicking here.