With all the chaos and outrage across the nation, one local congregation is taking a different approach by extending open arms and open doors to anyone and everyone.
Sylvester Patton, III is the Pastor of the Grant Worship Center in Northeast Austin, he said we need communities closer together now than ever before. “I really believe it will bring communities closer together if leaders are intentional in bringing communities together. Because the same way it can bring communities together, it can separate communities at the same time,” he said.
Their church is Christian based, but they want people of all religions, backgrounds, ethnicity, or culture to know they are welcome. The invitation comes after President Trump's executive order banning travelers from seven predominately Muslim nations.
Pastor Patton said it's the responsibility of all leaders right now to bring people together. “As pastors, as civic leaders, as congress persons, as council persons, we have to be intentional. Even though we are in a Christian church, to be a part of America, you don't have to be Christian. There are many racial backgrounds, cultures, religions, we all come together as a melting pot, that's what makes America so great,” he said.
Members of the Grant Worship Center said people of all ages in their church are being affected and are scared at what they are seeing. Cathy Beans is the Steward Pro-tem for the church, “Given today's times, to be honest, for some this is the first time they're experiencing throngs and throws of people taking to the streets, in protest of things that are coming from our very own government. During these times, having us come together, understanding that I can disagree with you without being disagreeable,” she said.
Disagree or agree. Pastor Patton said they are hoping to bring some positivity in what seems like a very negative time. “I cannot be formed by every executive order, every negative thing, there's too much good in the world. There are too many good things that people are doing and it shouldn't be canceled out by what we see in the oval office,” he said.