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Unity Prayer breakfast calls community to seek understanding and ‘to love each other’

Following the welcome by Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr, Shelia Jackson opened the Troy University Unity Prayer Breakfast on Thursday with the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love.”

Jackson’s selection could not have been more appropriate. Love was the byword for the unity prayer breakfast at the university’s Trojan Center Ballrooms.

Troy University First Lady Janice Hawkins encouraged the large gathering of university and community attendees  to “love each other.” Chancellor Hawkins reminded those in attendance that “love thy neighbor is at the core of our culture.” 

Lamar Higgins, vice president pro tempore, Troy University Board of Trustees, encouraged his audience to “love one another, love thy neighbor.”

When and where there is discord, the Rev. Dr. Glenda S. Curry, Bishop Elect, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama said “only love can bring light.”

Even though, the solution for a troubled America could be, should be, something as simple as loving one another, Higgins said “America has a problem.”

“We saw it on May 25, 2020, with the knee of  police officer on the neck of a black man,” Higgins said. “But we saw more on the ground than George Floyd that day. Such actions,” he said, “are an everyday occurrence.”

Higgins said that image of George Floyd should not be forgotten.

However, Higgins said America has lost its compassion.

“But America, I’ve seen your soul,” he said. “So, I know we can do better. I want America to love again.”

The time is now for America to do the right thing, Higgins said. And the right thing is to “Love one another; love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

“There is pain all around us that causes us to be more aware of others,” the Rev. Curry said.

“I don’t want to ever see again what happened to George Floyd,” Curry said.

To make sure that things like that don’t happen again, Curry said we need to pray all the time.

“Even on our best day,” she said. “We need to pray now more than ever. We must trust in God to help us through.”

Curry said no matter the skin color, we are all God’s people.

“We don’t want to be paralyzed by the past. We are not defined by the past because of the gift of Jesus,” she said. “We have more in common than we are different. Our world should be governed by love, not hate.”

Now is the time, Curry said, to draw together as a people and as a nation.

“The time is now to be one community so that we can leave the world a better place for our children,’ she said.

Hawkins said through unity this nation can see great positive change.”

“Love thy neighbor is at the core of our culture and love makes a difference,” he said.

And, that difference will make the world a better place today and for generations to come.

The Unity Prayer Breakfast closed with “Table Talk” which offered those in attendance opportunities to discuss the racial issues of today and what the state of racism will be in 50 years. The attendees were asked to recommend three follow-up actions to impact Troy University and the Troy community at large.

Tonya Terry, WSFA news anchor and Troy native, took time off to attend the Unity Prayer Breakfast,

She said the City of Troy and Troy University have continually made progress in race relations so that there is mutual respect among the people and the desire to work together to being a stronger university and a stronger community. “And, to love one another.”