On the evening of Juneteenth, Friday, June 19, Troost Avenue, Kansas City, became a focal point of unity when people of different faiths and races joined together in an hour-long event ‘Pray on Troost.’ Together they formed an estimated 10-mile long, socially distanced, prayer chain. Dean Andy Keyse, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral; Fr. Chas Marks, rector of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church and members of the diocesan Diversity and Reconciliation Commission; and Fr. John Spicer, rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church were among those taking part, and they shared their thoughts on the event.
“It was powerful to see the witness of so many people praying along what has long been our city’s racial dividing line.”The Very Rev. Chas Marks
Fr. Chas Marks said, “Pray on Troost was a remarkable opportunity for people of faith from across our city to come together and pray for our city and our nation.” Troost Avenue is known locally as a racial dividing line in Kansas City. “It was powerful to see the witness of so many people praying along what has long been our city’s racial dividing line.” he said, “I hope that events like this will spur more people on to work for the dismantling of systemic racism in our city, our nation, and our Church.”
“It was an honor to stand alongside so many people as we prayed on Troost Ave.”Dean Andy Keyse
“It was an honor to stand alongside so many people as we prayed on Troost Ave.” said Dean Andy Keyse, “We prayed for justice and that divisions may be healed in this city and around the country. It was a powerful event. The people driving along Troost Ave. that night looked genuinely happy that so many people showed up to offer their prayers and support. It is a step in the right direction. I ask that we continue to pray and continue to show love and respect to one another as we work for racial equality and justice.”
“… filled with trust and hope: trust that prayer can mold our hearts, if we’ll give them over to it…”The Rev. John Spicer
Fr. John Spicer said, “I found the event to be powerfully joyful, filled with trust and hope: trust that prayer can mold our hearts, if we’ll give them over to it; and hope that our hearts’ transformation catalyzes greater transformation around us. Maybe nothing changed that night, but maybe we’ll be stunned to see where we are after a hundred more nights like that.”