Post-election prayer group aims to rally 'divided' community

Published: Nov. 9, 2016 at 11:18 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Several dozen Charlestonians have taken to prayer in an effort to try to bridge the gap between members of the community on opposite sides of the presidential election.

Wednesday, about three dozen neighbors attended a prayer service at Christ Church United Methodist in the aftermath of President-Elect Donald Trump's triumph over Hillary Clinton.

The service was organized last week by members of the Charleston Area Religious Leaders Association like Pastor Monty Brown, who spoke in front of the crowd at Wednesday's event. He said the service was necessary, regardless of who won, thanks to a nasty campaign that divided communities across the nation.

"The level of public discourse has gotten a little low this year," Brown said. "We need to show the importance of community, how people can get along, even if they don't agree ...Trump supporters, Clinton supporters, we can come together."

The Rev. Kay Albright, who also attended the event she helped organize said, as a member of the LGBT community herself, while she was personally disappointed with the results of the election, her prayers were directed at the broader picture.

"It's a way to just come together and regroup and say let's move on -- regardless of the outcome," Albright said.

Christ Church United Methodist Pastor Jay Parkins also spoke at the event, before allowing time for those in attendance to walk in silent prayer, saying that the prayers are only the first step healing from the anger felt by so many.

"I'm not naive to say that to pray for about an hour is going to heal all of the division and the pain and the feelings that are out there," Parkins said. "But it's the beginning of that process, perhaps."