Baylor takes action through prayer

Dr. Burt Burleson leads a prayer with a group of gathered students and faculty. Will Barksdale | Lariat Photographer

Savannah Cooper | Staff Writer

President Linda Livingstone challenged the Baylor community to respond to the darkness in our nation and world with prayer.

Elliston Chapel, Bobo Spiritual Life Center and the second floor of Robinson Tower were all places of prayer opportunity for the Baylor community Friday. Elliston Chapel located at the corner of 3rd and Bagby in East Village had services at 8:30 a.m. and Noon.

Led by University Chaplain Burt Burleson and Coordinator of Worship Initiatives Carlos Colón, the services opened with singing collectively “I want Jesus to walk with me” and immediately set a tone of compassion, forgiveness and love.

“Our faith is a faith that lives in the body,” Colón said. “Our Lord was incarnate, He came in the flesh and his presence in the flesh on Earth and his continued presence is a challenge to live our faith in the body and pray together in the body.”

Lubbock freshman Evelynne Morris said she was moved to come and experience what Elliston Chapel will offer her.

“I received the email and was wondering how the prayer service was gonna be here at Elliston Chapel,” Morris said. “I knew some of my friends weren’t able to go, so I decide to just go by myself.”

After experiencing her first responding in prayer, she realized that this is something we all should be doing during at time like this.

“I think we definitely need to be in the church experiencing God,” Morris said. “This is a time when people need to realize that we need to combine together to create some American grace.”

Truett Seminary graduate student David Ko recognized the value of this time for Christians to unify in His name.

“I think it’s very important during this time to just come together and agree in that name saying that we are one regardless of what the world may think about us,” Ko said. “It brings us out of our own corners and actually prompts us to proactively life out the faith as well.”

There were for specific prayers for those experiencing violence and hate and for peace in the world.

“We remember especially today our sisters and brothers who have suffered violence -and death- in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Speegleville, Texas,” the responding to prayer guide said.

Last Tuesday, Willow Grove Baptist Church’s fellowship hall was vandalized with the word Satan, Swastika Nazi symbol and the name of the current President of the United States. The words were written ketchup and mustard and found by their Pastor Kenneth McNeil after seeing damaged doors.

McNeil is a Truett alum who spoke gave a speech that denounced the acts as hate driven, but also sent a message of forgiveness.

Colón said he was proud by how McNeil responded to the church vandalism.

“To me, Pastor McNeil’s response of forgiveness and love while yet being clear that this is wrong,” Colón said. “That response embodies the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Colón highlighted how responding in prayer and shedding light on such dark times is of greater importance than social media posting.

“To reach out and touch and also to be present to one another in person, and not diminish our responses and our duties to hashtags and just postings,” Colón said.

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