GR prayer leader: ‘We are not called to be partisan’

Grand Rapids
Church in background with plaza in foreground

An Aug. 13, 2019 photo shows the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Beyond the pleasant sounds of praise that filled Grand Rapids’ Cathedral of Saint Andrew Tuesday lies a call to action.

“When people come together to pray, things happen,” said Very Rev. Rene Constanza.

Following the deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Constanza called all worshippers to the sanctuary. They’ll gather in the pews Tuesday night to pray with one goal in mind.

“We want to unite others and not divide communities, ” said Constanza.

Constanza said the gathering will illustrate the power of prayer, hope and courage.

Church member Mary Ann Glover says she’ll likely attend Tuesday’s prayer. She’s asking her church family to forgive the gunmen and pray for those who lost loved ones in the shootings.

“My prayer is for healing,” said Glover. “My prayer is for the families that were left behind, for the children, to ask God to intercede on their behalf and protect them.”

That protection, according to Constanza, begins with a total ban on assault weapons and bump stocks, and instituting universal background checks.

“Politics is just part of who we are called to be as disciples, to be engaged in that, to make a difference,” said Constanza. “Partisan we are not, at least in the Catholic church; we are not called to be partisan.”

While the debate over guns continues in and out of church, members say every believer is protected by worship and praise.

“God is not just in this church building, but he’s in or hearts,” said Glover.

Tuesday night’s prayer service starts at 8:15 p.m. at Cathedral of Saint Andrew on Sheldon Boulevard near Cherry Street SE.

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